You Don’t Need to be a Pro to Procrastinate
Procrastination (noun): The action of delaying or postponing something.
Procrastination does not discriminate. It’ll affect you no matter your height, age, ethnicity or income bracket and it’ll keep you down if you let it. Procrastination can be crippling and it can feel never-ending. I don’t know much about you, but I do know that you’ve been a victim of procrastination — heck, we’ve all been! Procrastination kept me overweight, stole opportunities right from under me and left me with too much month at the end of the money.
Although procrastination is an evil and allusive being, I want to share with you two tactics I’ve implemented to help combat procrastination in my life. However please know, this battle is not one you simply fight once and win. The battle with procrastination will be waged everyday and you must be ready to fight the urge to delay or postpone your intentions whenever it comes knocking.
Vote Yourself Off the Island
It’s such a great feeling to say you’re going to do something, you know, you may tell your friends or partner, you might even make one of those motivational posts on Facebook or the Gram. I mean you’re feeling pumped, you’ve thought it out and how you’re going to do it, hell you’ve even gotten 32 likes and a handful of comments, so you’re even feeling supported. The stars have aligned and you’re ready to start but before so many of us start, we often take a nice vacation. A vacation spot I have to credit Brian Tracy for finding called Some Day Isle. Some Day Isle is like most vacation spots, it’s one you get to and never want to leave. However, this vacation spots free and most of all comfortable, so most never do leave.
Some day I’ll lose some weight, some day I’ll find a more fulfilling career, some day I’ll read that book, some day I’ll take that course or write that book. It’s true procrastination at its finest.
I invite you to vote yourself off the island. Swim, fly, boat, anything really, just get off the island and get off now! Next time you think about doing something, do the smallest thing possible to inch you closer towards its attainment rather than putting it off and doing it later. A simple tactic I’ve used to find out what that smallest thing can be is by asking myself “what commitment can I make now?” The commitment can be as little as a phone call requesting more information, or if you’re reading this and they’re closed an email. Just commit to something, no matter the size of the commitment.
When Should You Start the Day? As Soon as You’ve Finished It.
Who has time? I sure as hell don’t! It’s a scarce resource, it’s something so readily available but most of the time gets expelled without any deep thought. So many of us just go through our days without any plan or intentions, reminding us of the old adage of the 7P’s — Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performance. In order to avoid lost days and unfulfilled time spent, simply sit down and fill your calendar with things that you want to do.
Want to start that new meditating habit? Put it in your calendar. Want to start getting to the gym? Put in your calendar. Want to — yeah, you get the point. The easiest way to change your life through positive habits is by making it a plan in your daily routine. Whether that’s written in your planner, on your physical calendar or in your phone, make it a part of your plan for the day.
I first heard this philosophy from the late-great Jim Rohn: “When should you start the day? As soon as you’ve finished it.” Since, any new habit I set out to implement in my daily routine is first put in my phone calendar. I’ve etched out a time to do it, it’s at the same time every day to make it an easy routine to follow and it’s usually the first thing or last thing I do that day. Some may look at my calendar below and think “holy shit, isn’t that overwhelming.” I’d say no, it keeps me on track, focused and is in alignment with what I’ve set out to accomplish in my life and deemed important.
My Recommendation to You
I’ve gone ahead and listed a few actionable steps you can take to fight procrastination and take control of your life:
- Take action quickly by making the smallest commitment towards its attainment by asking yourself “what’s the smallest thing I can do right now?”
- Make it the first thing (early in the morning) or last thing you do in a day (late in the evening).
- Make it a part of your day by putting it in your calendar, making sure it’s at the same time everyday for ease of habit creation.
- Determine why you want what you say you want and put that reason somewhere you’ll see it often — ex. bedroom, bathroom mirror, etc.