Have you ever had a great idea but did not act upon it? And then later you saw that product or service out in the marketplace, perhaps earning the founder/inventor millions of dollars? Fortunes are lost due to procrastination but that’s not the only reason to kill off procrastination instantly.
Many people procrastinate for a number of reasons: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, etc. The idea that it’s easier to put something off tomorrow than doing it today is a lazy way of thinking that does not help whoever holds that belief.
Let me first tackle fear of failure. Many people put things off, believing that if they do it later they’ll do it better. Or if they do it later, they won’t fail. But usually the ‘procrastination’ route just leads to not doing it at all. Let me let you in on a little secret that, if you understand it, will change your life. This secret can transform your life if you truly grasp the depth of the simple sentence.
Here goes nothing: There’s no such thing as failure. That’s a million dollars worth of insight right there. (I’ll take a check please…hehehe) The only way to fail is to not even go for it. The people who succeed the most have failed their way to success. The thing to keep in mind is that after each time something doesn’t work to learn from it and adjust accordingly. And then plod on. And keep doing it until you win.
Many people fear success and fear the unknown. I’ll combine the two into one because fear of success is partly based on fear of the unknown. Everybody’s got a comfort zone. That’s a given. And what’s outside our comfort zone is unknown to us. People are habitual creatures and generally don’t want to step outside to the unknown unless they make a conscious, concerted effort. That’s why a lot of people procrastinate.
I’ve told you about procrastination and what it stems from. Friend, I’m not going to leave you hanging without giving you a real, workable solution in how to instantly end procrastination forever.
But first, let me tell you about a dangerous side effect of procrastination. I call it ‘psychic weight’. ‘Psychic weight’ is the weight you feel on your psyche for having a whole lot of things left unfinished that you need to do but are procrastinating on.
An example is prudent here because it will crystallize your understanding of what I’m saying. Suppose you want to go watch a movie with your significant other but you’ve got some household chores left unfinished such as mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. While at the movie, it may be harder for you to enjoy the movie if your mind is wandering because you may be thinking about all your unfinished chores back at the house. This is doubly bad. Why? It’s doubly bad because instead of enjoying the movie, you were distracted by the ‘psychic weight’ of your mind gravitating toward your unfinished chores AND when you arrive back at home, you still have to do those same chores that lessened your movie experience!
Now, after you’ve killed the procrastination habit, imagine yourself mowing the lawn immediately, doing the dishes, and finishing up the laundry. You automatically feel a good sense of accomplishment. You joyfully invite your significant other to a movie with the peace of mind that you’re free to enjoy the movie fully. Much better, isn’t it?
If you go to procrastinate, ask yourself, “What’s the ‘psychic wait’ of me putting off this action? What can I gain by immediately doing it right now? How much of a sense of accomplishment will I feel by getting this done right now?” Asking yourself these questions will put you in the mood to ‘Do-It-Now!’
I used to procrastinate, especially when I began working for myself. Instead of doing what was important, I surfed the internet, incessantly read and wrote email, etc. It was junk food for my mind for me when I didn’t discipline myself to do what mattered. Sure, it felt good at the time, like the yummy taste of junk food, but it caught up to me later. Things that I needed to do weren’t getting done.
So how did I kick the procrastination habit? I made a list of things I needed to do for the day and ranked them in order of importance. Then, I did the first thing on the list and stuck with it until complete. Then I moved to the next thing. This alone doubled my productivity. If I didn’t accomplish the first thing on the list, I would just keep going with it as long as it took.
Slow and steady smokes somebody who is a short-term sprinter all day long. Remember that as you run for your goals, you’re in a marathon and not a sprint. Just keep going every day. Remember the Energizer bunny? It just keeps going and going, right? Well, you and I can do the same thing. Just keep plugging away.
Adopt this belief as your own: “Action is always better than no action”. When you take action, the best case scenario is that you get your result immediately and you are very satisfied. The worst case scenario is that you don’t get your result but you do learn something for the next time. The problem with ‘no action’ is that you don’t learn anything if you haven’t done anything.
Kent Sayre is a worldwide persuasion expert and author of the bestselling book “Unstoppable Confidence” endorsed by such celebrity authors as Brian Tracy, Robert Allen, and Jim Rohn.