We tend to only do those tasks that scream the most, as it were. We rush to finish them. The minute we lick the envelope we notice we forgot to insert the letter. We start cooking hamburgers only to remember the BBQ gas tank is empty. There is a cure for procrastination! Look in a mirror and you will see the cure. The only person who will manage you is you!
Procrastination Prevention #1: Start the task.
Get going, even if you have failed at it in the past. If you want to win, you must begin. This seems obvious, but if you have been procrastinating at something just make a start at it and you will have begun the process of success.
Procrastination Prevention #2: Block off the necessary time to finish the job.
Chances are very remote that you will ever get done without it getting scheduled into your calendar. We procrastinate forever because we don’t block off the necessary time to finish the job.
When you do book appointments with yourself to complete the work, or use the task portion of your calendar when it populates to your reminders—do it! If it was important a few days ago don’t justify its importance away. Touch it once and only once and get it done. Don’t defer it by pushing it out or leave it sitting with the other fifteen reminders.
Procrastination Prevention #3: See the job in bite-sized pieces.
You will never start losing weight if you see the whole project in one lump sum. Alcoholics would have difficulty picturing themselves not drinking for the rest of their life. They can handle not drinking for this 24 hour period. ‘One day at a time’ is a popular slogan among self-help groups.
Procrastination Prevention #4: Adopt a ‘do it now’ mentality.
People who conquer procrastination problems learn to become ‘Do It Now’ers’. They never wait until tomorrow to do what they know should be done today. They put things back after each use. They refuse to delay.
Procrastination Prevention #5: Set up objectives.
We already discussed the need for objectives in life, but it bears repeating here as it affects the procrastination dilemma. Set a goal to accomplish something you have procrastinated doing.
Procrastination Prevention #6: Review accomplishments.
Winners in life dwell on their successes. Losers constantly focus in on their failures. It is of value to remind yourself of areas you have succeeded in winning the procrastination game.
Procrastination Prevention #7: Reward or punish yourself.
Now, I am not espousing deviant behaviour by suggesting you conquer procrastination problems by punishing yourself. What I am suggesting is that you find some way of punishing negative behaviour like not doing things you said you would do.
If you are the business owner, you can also create your own consequence, but make sure to share the agreement with someone else in order to have accountability. Feel free to email me (james@ focus31.com) as I’m more than happy to hold you accountable and introduce consequences to kick you into gear.
Similarly, if you have succeeded in doing a task you have long procrastinated in doing, reward yourself. We tend to repeat those behaviours with positive reinforcements and shun those behaviours with negative reinforcement.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
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