Have you ever...
had one of those days where in the morning you sit back, sip your coffee and think to yourself…WOW there is so much I want to do and I’m on the cusp of doing it all?
I AM AMAZING!
Then, by the afternoon you’re dragging yourself on to your 3rd or maybe even 4th cup of coffee wondering…how am I going to get through making dinner tonight? And, that the person sipping from that same cup this morning was, obviously, a day dreaming imposter who’d temporarily taken over your body?
I’ve experienced that same ‘body snatchers’ story too.
Ambition is a wonderful attribute and you need it in order to reach out of your comfort zone and push to accomplish more, but ambition has a cruel and dangerous nemesis… ‘Procrastination’.
We’ve all procrastinated in one situation or another. You might find yourself putting off doing something that you regard as unimportant, only to be confronted with your lack of effort later on. The good news is that you can banish procrastination from your life forever! You can dispatch of this dangerous predator of your ambition with these simple although not always easy 7 Key Actions.
Banish procrastination for good by adopting these strategies:
Admit that you look for diversions. The vast majority of those who procrastinate do it by finding something else to focus on, rather than paying attention to the task at hand. For example, your lawn needs to be mowed, but you see your neighbor and decide to go chat with him instead.
Accountability is paramount to accomplishing your big, ambitious goals. And, that accountability starts with owning up to your own behavior. You and I, we don’t intend on procrastinating on something we want to do, but we give ourselves permission to get distracted and it’s crucial that we acknowledge and they take responsibility for that ‘I got distracted choice’.
A truly magical ability is that of ‘seeing’ yourself in the future. Or as I like to call it ‘futurecasting’ yourself. This really helps with procrastinating because it helps you live that new future, even before you’re there. Start with thinking about how you’ll feel when you complete the task. What will be different when you’ve completed the thing you’ve been avoiding? If nothing else, won’t you feel relieved when the task is finally done? These thoughts can motivate you to take action.
Although I do not believe in using shame or guilt as a motivational tool for others, boy can it be useful on yourself. If you’re struggling to take action on something you know you should, could or need to do, take a few moments to consider how you’ll feel when the job isn’t finished. If you continue to procrastinate, how will you feel about it? Use those negative feelings as motivation to get the job done now.
#4 The Lamest Excuse...Excuses
I often say to my clients that you can have one of two things…Excuses or Results, which would you like to have?
There really is only one of two ways something goes. You either get after what you want to get accomplished and pursue it, no matter what stands in your way. Or, you let excuses rule the day and either don’t complete what you want to do or you shrink down your goals to match your excuses.
Maybe you think you’ll do a poor job or you convince yourself you’ll do a better job when you’re down to the wire, “I do my best when I’m under pressure”… (I hear that one come from my own mouth sometimes).
You might even say to yourself, “I’d really like to get that done, but I’m in a time crunch now.” Recognize that these are empty excuses that just contribute to your procrastination.
#5 Just Do It!
Nike made the saying famous and it applies here. Rather than spend time avoiding a task or wishing it was already done, just start it now…it’s amazing how some urgency and immediacy can boil away procrastination really quick.
#6 Write that Sh#*t Down...
Jot down a list of things you’ve been procrastinating about. Then, next to each task, write down your completion date.
Use your calendar to ensure you have enough time.
Divide larger tasks into a series of smaller tasks and list each of those tasks on your calendar too. That will make it easier to see at a glance which tasks you intend to do each day so that you don’t overwhelm yourself and can schedule a reasonable time in which to complete each task.
I’ve spent way too many years, not months, not weeks, not days…years with all the Ambitious goals of mine trapped in my own head and go almost none of them done.
Get it out of your brain and onto paper, then read those goals daily and watch the results flow in!
One of my all time favorite feelings in the world is the sense of happiness and fulfillment that I get when I get my goals accomplished. Sometimes it’s a little jolt because it’s something small and other times it’s a huge burst, because the accomplishment is big and has taken a while to get there.
Either way, the feeling is temporary and so we have to repeat it again in order to maintain our momentum. Achievement is a science and fulfillment is an art that require your diligence to them, every single day.
We’re constantly surrounded by threats to our mindset; complacent people, negative opinions, terrible news, etc…
When you complete a task you’ve been putting off, reward yourself. It might be a dinner out with a friend, a trip to see someplace new, or a relaxing pedicure. Be proud of yourself for stopping the cycle of procrastination.
Procrastination is the bane of accomplishment for many of us. But you have the power to change from procrastination to action. Make a list of the things that need to be done and complete those tasks immediately. You’ll feel less weighed-down by your life if you learn to get things done in a timely fashion.
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Michael Bridgman is an experienced entrepreneur. He's found success in a wide range of business models, from Brick and Mortar to Online. He created the 'Daily Spark' to share valuable tools and ideas of inspiration and education for other entrepreneurs and people wanting to achieve more.