Today I want to talk about how to stop procrastination. I really believe it is the the silent killer of your business. We’re all guilty of procrastination at times, yet we all really wish we didn’t do it.
The question is, what can we do to break this cycle once and for all? I don’t believe there is a magic button when it comes to being able to stop procrastination, but there are some actionable steps we can take toward solving this problem.
There is also a great book about procrastination I can highly recommend. It's about how to stop procrastination and get it out of your life for good by creating new habits. The book is called “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. I have read this short book a couple of times before, and I admit that I like to read it again periodically. I believe that ending procrastination is really an ongoing project for most people, so we all need a refresher course from time to time.
Why is Procrastination So Dangerous?
First of all, there is the obvious fact that you keep putting things off. You will look up one day and realize you have left a piece of your life behind that screams “lack of accomplishment” and you feel bad. You may be forced to admit that all those big goals you wrote down on paper at the end of last year are not one bit closer to being completed than the day you wrote them down.
You have been hanging out with the thief of time and accomplishment … procrastination.
Do a quick reality check. What did you see when you looked back at your goals each for each quarter of this past year? Did you accomplish all that you set out to do?
The second reason to stop procrastination is that it has a profound negative effect on your mindset. What happens when you begin to compare yourself to others? So many times, we fall into the trap of assuming other people are doing things better than we are when in reality, they may just be doing things differently. They may have established good habits they follow every day which allows them to accomplish more and grow faster than most everyone else.
Success is Rarely an Accident
Success is rarely an accident; it is almost always by design. Procrastination works pretty much in the same way. We have to plan to get things done. And it is this plan that will set you apart from your competition.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
There is just no way I could say this as well as he did so I am going to quote Brian Tracy:
“A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion, and fuzzy-mindedness about what you are trying to do and in what order and for what reason.”
To paraphrase, we lack clarity.
How to Stop Procrastination Once and for All
Have written goals!
Only about 3% of the people have clear, concise written goals for getting from point A to point B. That’s pretty astounding. Most people just let life happen TO them.
When it comes to the people that DO have written goals, it’s not too hard to imagine why those same people tend to achieve 5 to 10 times as much as those without written goals. The question is, once we have a plan, how to we create new habits that stick?
According to Brian Tracy, there should be 3 distinct parts to this plan or the “Three D’s” of forming new habits.
The 3 D’s: Decision, Discipline and Determination
- You have to make a decision to develop the habits needed to kick procrastination to the curb by developing strong focus and concentration on the job at hand.
- Next you have to discipline yourself to practice these habits until they become second nature. For instance; if checking email is the first thing you do in the morning, discipline yourself not to do that until your big frogs are checked off the list.
- The third part is having the determination to take these steps each and every day until they become a permanent part of your personality.
When you finally stop procrastination, this will increase your overall levels of satisfaction in every area of your life whether it is your business or your personal life. Here are the two most important steps he has laid out:
- You have to “eat that frog” the first thing in the morning. Don’t sit and stare at the frog for very long; just eat it. So, what exactly is the frog? It is the biggest, most important job you have to get done that day. It’s also the thing you dread doing the most.
- And if you have to eat two frogs that day, eat the ugliest one first. It seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Just get it over with. How many times have each of us wasted a good portion of a day putting off something that we just didn’t want to do? It’s so easy to let busyness get in the way of growing our business.
Who Do You Want to BE?
It really comes down to just this one thing for all of us. You have to decide, “Who do you want to be”?
We are back once again to clarity. Never mind what other people will think. When we are able to clearly visualize and articulate who we want to be, then we will have our “why” that will enable us to do the work need to be the best we can be.
Some of the Things You Will Learn in this Book Are…
- How to clearly decide what you want and how this will change your business
- How to plan every day in advance on paper with your most important tasks at the top
- How to apply the 80/20 rule to everything realizing that 20% of your activities account for 80% of your results.
- This book will also make you realize that as one person, you just can’t do it all. You are going to need some help.
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear what you think about it. If you haven’t read it yet, get a copy for yourself. It’s a quick read and you won’t regret it.
“Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time”, by Brian Tracy.
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