This article has been on my mind for a while, but I kept putting it off.
Procrastination can be a poisonous rat that kills dreams and lives. It’s a bad habit that has subversive roots in the realms of fear. Fear of failure, fear success, fear change and fear of your shadow are all reasons I can think of.
While I pride myself on being action-oriented, I can also procrastinate for long periods. The rat lurks beneath the surface and taunts me when I realize that I have been putting off something for too long.
Procrastinators of the black belt have all the ammunition they need to justify their inaction. Inaction has the sinister side effect that there are always more reasons to delay things. You have the option to wait for the government, your health system, your advisors or until the time is right or you have enough time or money. If those options don’t work, wait until your friends or grandma approves. Procrastinators will choose to delay death and defend their inaction.
It’s troubling enough to put off personal problems, but business owners cannot afford to procrastinate. We all know that what you don’t do today… will be there tomorrow. Businesses need to be able to see the bigger picture and have a tendency to take action.
These seven steps will help you get rid of procrastination.
1. Clarify your Vision
What type of person or company do you want to be? You can clarify your vision and channel your energy to the right actions.
2. Write your mission.
What will you do to fulfill your vision? Are you the most popular, fastest, or friendliest person?
3. Identify your goals.
Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-dated goals are important.
4. Select Your Most Important Goals.
Pick the top three to five goals. You can choose the lowest-hanging fruits, those that will yield the best return on your time and energy.
5. Create a To-Do List.
List the tasks you need to accomplish each of your top 3 goals. You’re likely still procrastinating if you don’t have a list of tasks for your top three goals three days later.
6. Select Your Payoffs
Once you have achieved your goals, think about how you will reward you. You can also make a list listing the benefits of each goal.
7. Take Action
Pick one task to focus on and get started immediately.
Unless, of course you would rather spend a little more time thinking about it.
We must always tread a narrow path, not straying too far from over- and under-thinking our actions. To be too quick and impulsive could lead to disasters. Too long thinking can lead to procrastination. This is the deal.