“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” – Don Marquis
Procrastination is a terrible thing. It is a destructive habit that can hold you and your dreams hostage forever. Procrastination is the silent killer of purpose, intelligence, energy, and achievement. It is a thief of our time, and it is a thief of our lives. It happens to people for several reasons – fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of the unknown or change.
Procrastination is a bad habit, and most of us fall victim to it at some stage or another. But, unfortunately, the more we succumb to its energy-wrenching powers, the more it cripples our performance. William James, the brilliant philosopher and psychologist, once said, ‘Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task’.
As crippling as procrastination is, there are few things as satisfying as putting a thick line through a dreaded task on your to-do list. Especially one that you’ve been procrastinating over.
So here are six workable solutions to help you beat procrastination:
- Make today your deadline
It is easy to put off a job or a task until tomorrow. Unfortunately, this becomes a habit, and soon you feel the pressure and guilt for under-achieving. It is vital that you develop the discipline to plan, list, and do the jobs that give you a powerful sense of personal control and achievement.
- Set firm intentions for each day
Plan each day with absolute focus and clarity about what you wish to accomplish. Then, manage these intentions around firm activities and commit to every one of them.
- Focus on the moment
Always keep your focus fixed on what you are doing at the moment. Don’t be distracted by tasks that lie ahead. Completing jobs that you have planned gives you a strong sense of achievement. Achievement is the opposite of procrastination.
- Consolidate your activities
Avoid hopping backwards and forward between activities. Doing a lot of one thing at once helps you accomplish more in less time. For example, make your phone calls at one time, then handle your admin, and then your e-mail or letters.
- Divide large, daunting tasks into more doable segments
This ‘chunking’ of your time will help you work faster and achieve more. In addition, achieving (i.e. ticking off) each smaller portion first will give you confidence, encouraging you to complete any project.
- Stop watching mindless TV
I believe that TV, and watching too much of it, is the evil partner of procrastination. TV can provide you with an easy distraction to avoid making progress with the crucial tasks in your life. It is easy to succumb to the lure of vegetating in front of your TV to avoid taking action on your goals.
Are you aware that if you viewed three hours of TV a day on average over forty-five years (and I know people who watch more), this would result in you sitting in front of a TV for six years non-stop? A scary thought! Imagine the quality of your life if you invested that time in improving relationships or self-development. So be selective with your TV viewing.
So, avoid procrastination at all costs.
Time is your most valuable resource. Once lost, it is gone forever. I guarantee that you will succeed in business and life if you use your time wisely.
This precious gift of life is a one-time deal. So please make the most of it.
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin