As a former graduate of the school of intense procrastinator university, I can tell you that I know all too well about the consequences of being a procrastinator. While in college I often found myself leaning on good ole Mr. Procrastination as my crutch to send in last minute assignments (11:59:59pm), studying and more. Here’s what I learned:
There’s no sense in waiting. I learned when I set my mind intensely to something; I can get it done no matter how large the task may have seemed at the onset. Basically, there was no real reason to wait until the last minute anyway. I could have just knocked out the work a long time ago. The only real difference between doing it last minute and doing it right away was that I carried a weight and stress of not having it done for way longer than I needed to. Waiting to do something you can do now just isn’t a smart decision.
Stop deliberating. When you are stuck in the deliberating phase, you are consuming your thoughts and time with busy-work. On a recent periscope, I talked about how leaders are different in this way. They don’t spend too much time making a decision. They see a problem, create a plan and execute that plan. They make a decision that they are going to change the outcome by doing something and doing that something right now. Even if the outcome isn’t what they imagined, they learned. They learned that action creates change. It’s time to stop deliberating and start decision-making.
“Making mistakes is inevitable, but good leaders both admit and learn from them and over time create a decision-making process based on experience.” – Larry Bossidy in his book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
There is no perfect situation. The procrastinator’s main excuse is “I’m waiting on….” “I’m going to do this when…” Stop it! Stop waiting on everything to line up in perfect order before you start doing what it is you need to do to change your situation. Just start and everything else will fall into place. It’s just like putting a puzzle together. Once you have a few pieces together, maybe the edges (because that’s the best way to start!) you can fill in the blank spaces. You just need a few little pieces to create the foundation for whatever problem you’re trying to fix. Once the foundation is laid, everything else will come together.
The only thing you know for certain is what is happening right now. Tomorrow is always the goal for the unsuccessful. You see, the only thing we know, for absolutely certain is what is happening right now. Right now in this very moment you know exactly what you have, what you don’t have, what you can and what you cannot do. Right now you know whether you have the ability to research, design, create opportunity, think, read, etc. These are things you know for certain right now. Why wait for tomorrow when there is no certainty in that?
Not enough time is an excuse. Oh please stop using this argument. We all have the same 24-hours in a day. We have the same 168-hours in a week and the same 365 days in a year. There is just no logical reason why a successful person, whom you admire, is able to do something you say you don’t have time to do. The truth is you do have the time. The problem is you’re not assigning goal-achieving tasks to your time. But before you can add on new goals, you must first find out where your time is going right now and how you can replace your time-wasting habits with goal-achieving habits. I use a neat time log created by Laura Vanderkam for my clients to help them find out where their time is going. Once you know where you time is going, you can adjust your day accordingly.
I hope these tips will help you to accomplish your goals in 2016. I look forward to hearing of your success.