Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies of success. Beating it will increase your luck like never before!
What are you waiting for? Is there something you’d like to achieve soon but can’t seem to just get it started? Is it a new business? Do you need to ask that lady (or guy!) out? Do you need to make that phone call? Do you need to write that book? Do you need to get back to school? Do you need to read that book? Do you need to apply for that job? What is it you need to get done? Is procrastination robbing you of a great life?
As humans, we are designed to create. We are designed to build. We are designed to accomplish. This is the reason there is so much frustration around the world because a larger percentage of people are not accomplishing anything. One of the reasons for this is the tendency to want to put things off – to procrastinate. We all have that tendency. But successful people do not only know that they have the tendency, they also know how to defeat it. Simply mastering the art of beating procrastination every time you need to get something done is one of the most pivotal factors in being a successful person.
For example, I have been thinking about starting this blog for quite some time now. But I just kept putting it away for a number of reasons. Of course I am already operating another blog where I discuss everything personal development, dreams, goals, success and so on; I reckoned it will be a great idea to just migrate it all from blogger to a self hosted platform. But I have been very busy (and sometimes it feels overwhelming) to make it happen. So today, I just told myself “hey why not start right now?” I only figured that I should write about procrastination after I started writing this. As a matter of fact, this paragraph (without the “for example”) is the first thing I wrote before I moved it down here.
Since I began to do business, the following have been the methods I use to defeat procrastination.
- Just Start. Sometimes, simply trying to plan and analyse what needs to be done for your idea or desire to get off the ground can be limiting. Is planning and analysis bad? The answer is NO! But if planning and analysis and waiting for things to become perfect starts giving you a reason to put off that action, just start and figure it out as you go. For example, last year, I wanted to start publishing a magazine again after stopping since 2010. Someone said “since you don’t everything you need to start yet, why not start an online magazine first?” I still didn’t have what I needed to start an online magazine so I started it on blogger. Two weeks later, I had everything I needed and today, I run a full fledged online magazine that generates income. It will be one year old in January. Start and you will figure the rest out as you go.
- Research as you go. The things we put away in our “someday I will do it sink” are always little chunks of activities that when strung together will result in a big success in the nearest future. So if you are struggling with procrastination, don’t try to research before starting. You just get right on that activity and when you get stuck, quickly do a little research here and there and get right back to it. When we first decided to add Project Management (PMP/CAPM) training in our curriculum at The Learning Edge Ltd, we did not know how it is going to play out. But we simply just added it to our website after figuring out what we would charge for the classes and then went on to figure out the other things like a certified trainer, course materials and so on. At the time we got someone, we already had a couple of people making inquiries via the website and the debut class held almost immediately. We would have postponed that earning if we had waited for everything to be perfect before putting it up on our website.
- Use your sticky notes. The best advise anyone can ever give you other than “fasten your seat belt for landing” is “write it down.” Whatever it is you want to make happen, ensure it is written on a paper and stuck on a place you will always see it. Personally, I use various sticky notes of various colours to that that. When it is a priority, I write it on an A4 sheet and stick it on the door of the wardrobe in my study. In that way, I see it all the time. Whatever you write down will in one way or the other make you feel bad until you get right on it and do it. 2015 has been a very busy year for me. So, this practice really helped me to not let certain things slip but to get right on them.
- Divide your day into smaller chunks. I learnt this from my mentor. His alarm is always going off. As the alarm goes off he knows that one hour just passed. Imagine you doing that. It will definitely help you to remember that your time on earth is drawing to an end…lol. That’s taking it too far, right? But wait a minute. Your life is made up of years that are made up of months that are made up of weeks that are made up of days that are made up of 24 hours that are made up of 60 minutes that are made up of 60 seconds that are almost in sync with your heartbeat. Lets make those seconds count. I noticed that I end my days happier, healthier and more accomplished every time I divide my day like this – that is because I get to accomplish more!
- Plan your days. Yes, if your day is planned and that plan is written down, the chances that you will beat procrastination that day are very high. I am sure you have about this somewhere before, so I won’t bore you with more info here.
- Talk about it. You want to beat procrastination? Talk about the activity you are putting off. Tell your friends. Talk to your room mate. Talk to someone about it. The power in this is that when you talk about it, the fear of attempting it begins to lose its potency on you. Your mind, in its attempt to provide you something to say to avoid failure in articulation, will begin to formulate the best methods as you begin to discuss it with somebody who has a very sharp, inquisitive mind. I have a friend like that. All I need to hear are three questions from him and I am charged up!
- Talk to yourself about it. I can write this article today. I can make that call today. I can. Why not? Why not now? Your life will always go in the direction of your mouth. Have you noticed that whenever you say you are tired, you get more tired? Get to the mirror and talk yourself up. Our inner dialogues have a way of affecting our action and inaction. If you are feeling great, you will likely get on with doing what you need to do to get success. But if you are not feeling great, the likelihood that you will procrastinate will increase. So, talking to yourself is a very big “turn on” for getting to doing what you must do.
- Listen to a personal development program. This will get you fired up. Whenever I see myself putting things off, I slot in a CD by any of the top personal development coaches and that’s it! I am fired up. They might not even say a word about procrastination. But the fact that they are talking about success is enough for me.
There is more. But this is getting too long for my liking. Why not suggest more below if you have enjoyed this? Maybe I will continue this tomorrow. But I intend to be posting here every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. So watch out.
If you have learnt something nice about beating procrastination here, kindly leave a comment below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and so on.