It’s human nature to do the easiest, the most enjoyable, or the work we feel the most confident doing, but that doesn’t make it the most important. Denis Waitley describes procrastination as, “The fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.” Ten tips for tackling procrastination tendencies are below:
- Have a compelling WHY?– Are the reasons for working on this particular goal more compelling than what you are already doing? Because if what you are doing is more important, there really is no good reason to abandon what you are doing to do something else. If you don’t have a compelling enough reason to start, persevere, and to finish, you won’t!
- Create a plan to keep that reason visible and front and foremost in your consciousness. If you have a compelling WHY and still find yourself procrastinating or forgetting, get a plan. Constantly remind yourself of why you chose this goal. Write the reasons on index cards, place them in strategic locations where you know you will see them, affirm your goals, and spend time thinking and acting on them.
- Tease yourself. Sometimes the hard part is to just get started. In this case, give yourself a simple doable time limit, say fifteen minutes. Usually you will get a momentum going and continue past the time initially proposed.
- Be clear about the benefits of achieving this goal and the consequences of not doing anything. Sometimes it is that clear vision of the benefits that provides the motivation to keep moving in the direction of your goals. While positive motivation is my preference, some people are motivated more by fear. The fear of failure or the fear of the negative consequences is enough to get them motivated and continually motivated.
- Have a plan of what you need to do. Just having a vague idea of what you want and how you are to do it is not enough. – It’s easy to get distracted or sidetracked, a plan of action is critical to making sure that you stay on task.