Did you realize that as much as 47% of the time we spend on-line has nothing whatsoever to do with our work? In 1978 15% of the population stated that they do procrastinate somewhat. Only 1% admitted to chronic procrastination. In 2002 the numbers quadrupled! 60% of people stated that they experience mild to moderate procrastination in their lives and 6% stated that procrastination ruled their lives! In this era of “distraction overdose”, make the decision to overcome procrastination by applying some or all of the following techniques.
1. Live by the Law of More Effort.
As you accomplish an important task, you will feel a surge of energy and enthusiasm. Completing the task will trigger the release of endorphins in your brain, causing you to experience a natural high. You will actually become addicted to this feeling as you continue to complete challenging and important tasks. So, as you put forth more effort, you will want to continue to put forth more effort.
2. How’s your energy?
There are many things you can do to increase your energy stores, including getting 8 hours of rest each night. I know you are saying, “I’m lucky if I get 6!” With better planning & organizing, you can not only get 8 hours of sleep, but you will also have time for #3.
3. Exercise & eat right!
Yes, that’s right. If you take the time to exercise, you will actually have more energy and will procrastinate less. Also, avoid those simple sugars that “give you a boost”. It may give you an immediate rush, but you will “dump” just shortly there after. Eat complex carbohydrates which provide a slower, steadier release of energy throughout the day.
4. Improve your goal setting techniques.
Do we eat the elephant all at once? No. We do it one bite at a time. Do the same with your goals. Take your larger goals and break them down into a series of smaller, more attainable goals. Write them down, be specific and put a date on them. A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure they are challenging and schedule your repetitive goals (ex. workouts) at the same time each day to develop a routine.
5. Make lists and work from them.
No one likes to work from lists. You feel like your mother is controlling your every move. But this keeps you organized. Have a daily, weekly and monthly list of things you need to do and add to them as necessary.
6. Make your own “top ten” list.
Write down ten things you want to accomplish in the next year. Write these out as if they have already happened, in the present tense. Post them where you will see them daily and while you’re at it, read them out loud daily. Self-talk is very important. (That’s for another top 10.)
7. Select a favorite from your list.
Which item on your list will push you forward 100% in your career, personal life, etc. when completed? Come up with an action plan for achieving that goal first and write it down.
8. Find a system that works for you.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to overcoming procrastination. A system that may be very successful for one person, could fail miserably for another. Try different “programs” on and be patient. You will find a system that fits you perfectly.
9. Don’t give up!
We can all develop the habits of focus & concentration if we commit to it by making the decision, developing the discipline and staying determined.
10. Just do it!
I realize this phrase is completely over-used, but let’s face it, it applies. Sometimes we just need to buckle down and complete that unbelievably miserable task that we have been dreading for so long. I guarantee you that you will have more energy when you are done.
David Allen says, “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they have started.”
by Lisa James