Sometimes all you might need to conquer procrastination is bigger equipment.
Procrastination plays a part in everybody’s lives
Some people will only procrastinate on rare occasions, usually because of overwork and lack of sleep. While others have a severe problem that will take a good mentor or coach to rectify.
The simple question to ask is “why do we do it? What leads us to put things off? If you can find the answer the solution will be easy.
Some people see procrastination as being lazy. It’s understandable that sometimes you don’t feel like doing something and that’s normal. But if it is becoming a regular habit, then you should hear the alarm bells ringing.
There is always a simple answer to procrastination
Find the success blockers in your business, every business has them, some are just a little harder to find and the solutions are not always easy to see:
- Take a lesson from ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’, live one hour at a time.
- Lay down some exciting new goals and plans.
- Use a ‘to-do-list’.
- Make a sincere effort to do one thing you have been putting off for a long time.
- Do it now.
- Set some time limits on the tasks you undertake.
- Quit smoking.
- Go a different way to work tomorrow.
- Plan to do something different and exciting tonight with your family.
- Go somewhere different for lunch today.
- Go and pay somebody a compliment.
- Ask somebody to help you.
- Clean your desk up, or your working environment.
- Don’t take a holiday, that won’t help. You’re only postponing the problem.
“Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all”. Byron Pulsifer
- Face your problems square on if you can’t get immediate help and relieve the pressure.
- List all the tasks you’ve been putting off then either do them or delegate them.
- Use the ‘salami technique’ – slice off little bits, making it easier to get started.
- Use ‘balance sheet’ technique – look at the “+” and “-” to help you make a decision.
- Apply the ‘Swiss cheese method’, punch a hole in large projects anywhere and start now.
- Habit changes – do something different, something a little radical and do it now.
- Get off the ‘calf path’, going down the same old path.
- Jump in, start anywhere, but start, the longer you wait, the colder the water.
- Read a self-help, or stimulating book.
- Learn to start yourself like you start your car – find the key and turn it on.
- Take action, any action, but take it now.
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” The following is an extract from the book “Parkinson’s Law or the Pursuit of Progress” by C. Northcote Parkinson.
“General recognition of this fact is shown in the proverbial phrase, ‘It is the busiest man who has time to spare’. Thus, an elderly lady of leisure can spend the entire day in writing and dispatch a postcard to her niece at Bognor Regis. An hour will be spent finding the postcard, another in hunting for spectacles, half an hour in search of the address, an hour and a quarter in composition, and twenty minutes in deciding whether or not to take an umbrella when going to the pillar box in the next street. The total effort that would occupy a busy person for three minutes all told, may in this fashion, leave another person prostrate after a day of doubt, anxiety and toil”.
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Do not let procrastination get control of your life. While there are some temporary advantages of procrastination, don’t let it creep up on you. Here are some signs procrastination might creeping up on you.
- Helps you to avoid new responsibilities when you are overloaded.
- Satisfies the need to escape and reclaim your composure.
- It’s nice to be relaxed and out of control, occasionally.
- Procrastination is a precursor to a good rest.
Procrastination is probably the No. 1 biggest cause of time wasting. The trick is to identify when you are procrastinating and then knowing the action needed to stop it.