How to End Procrastination NOW!

Procrastination kills good intentions. It subtly stands on your shoulder and reminds you of the reasons why you can’t do something or why you’d be better off waiting just one more day before starting that important project.  

now-later

Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off
until the day after tomorrow what should have
been done the day before yesterday (Napoleon Hill).

 

What is procrastination?

To put off intentionally and habitually…
 doing something that should be done.

Habitual procrastinators have decisions or actions they say they want to make or do but for various reasons put off until a better or more convenient time.  There are numerous reasons why procrastination happens.  Below are just a few.

A few reasons why we procrastinate:

  • Fear – I`m afraid I might fail.
  • Doubt – I`m not sure I can do it!
  • Anxiety – I’m worried about what might happen.
  • Apathy – I don’t really care what happens.
  • Pessimism – It’s no use, it won’t work out anyway.
  • Ignorance – I don`t know where to start.

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin (Victor Kiam).

 

Does it ever pay to procrastinate? 

  • Yes, when you need to wait and gather more information.
  • Yes, when you should be doing something else that’s more important.
  • Yes, when you need to include more people in your decision or action.

But assuming you do need to do something you’ve been putting off until tomorrow, here is a pathway to help.

The pathway to help overcome procrastination`s grip  

1.    Figure out what’s really worthwhile in life.

If you are reaching over gold nuggets to pick up coal, procrastination may be for you.  But if on the other hand you know why you are here on this earth, you won’t want to wait another minute to get started.  If you’re a little foggy of your purpose, start by going through 10 Questions to Focus Your Life.

He who has a “Why” to live for can bear almost any “How” (Nietzche). 

2.    Move your purpose into goals or problems to solve.

There are two kinds of people in the world – those who work like goals to achieve and those who like having problems to solve.  Either way, the pathway to action is in light of your purpose, figuring out your goals or problems to solve. 

3.    Figure out the next steps.

When you break your goals or problems to solve into measurable action steps, you will start to see more clearly how to spend your days. It’s hard work, but procrastination will make things even harder!

Procrastination makes easy things hard,
hard things harder. (Mason Cooley)

 

4.    Figure out the order of your action and start!

Most days I get out a 3X5 card and write down the ½ dozen things that will bring 80% of my desired results.  Then I prioritize those six items and start my day’s work (even during my recovery). There is no greater feeling than living on purpose and getting started on the actions I need to do to live that out.

You don’t have to be great to start,
but you have to start to be great
(John C. Maxwell).

5.    Celebrate the small wins.

“Things that get rewarded get repeated.”  In other words, if you reward action and healthy activity that moves you towards fulfilling your purpose, you will take the wind out of procrastination’s sails.

What are you supposed to be doing?
What do you need to do to say “no” to procrastination?

Image source: Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in anxiety, Attitude, Change, choice, Growth, learning, motivation, Opportunity, Preparation, Procrastination, purpose, Time and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to End Procrastination NOW!

  1. tim says:

    Hmmm, Cam…looks like a good blog post…will read when I have a chance.

  2. Bethany says:

    This was helpful for me: in this busy parenting of young kids time, I found the “permission” to procrastinate on things that don’t fit this season freeing. But one thing I wanted to ask you: you mentioned in one of your posts about some writing courses you were taking? This IS something I’m considering not procrastinating on, and wondered if you’d recommend the ones you took?

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Bethany for your comments – glad the procrastination message landed for you and gave you permission to procrastinate as necessary!
      About your request for the writing course. It was a course put on by Jeff Goins. An affiliate link you can use (if you join, I get something but it doesn’t effect what you pay) to check it out and join if you so choose is http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1512447
      Let me know how it works out (and that you get this message). Take care, Cam

      • Bethany says:

        Thanks for the course info! I’m afraid it might be more than I can commit to in this season (I’m learning parenting is very much about seasons!) but it helped clarify what I do want to do this year. I will definitely keep it in mind for a “calmer” year 🙂

      • Cam Taylor says:

        That is some good self-awareness on your part. Something can be right but not the right “time”. As they say “when the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Enjoy this season!

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