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Procrastination or Results: It’s Your Choice

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Procrastination results from one or a combination of the following: trying to be a perfectionist; a lack of self-discipline; a lack of self-confidence; the inability to fight off distractions; a lack of specific goals (and a commitment to them); and fear.

How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do (and should do), but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? You know, you say to yourself things like: “the timing is just not right,” or “let me get these few little (usually less important) things done first.”

Whatever your reason may be, the fact is you are procrastinating. And, that’s bad for you, your company, your team and your clients/customers. Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you:

1. Stop trying to develop the perfect plan; just start doing.

While planning and goal setting are important, over planning and trying to identify every single component or issue you “might” face can be deadly. In fact, when you do this, you likely will make the task bigger than it really is or needs to be. You end up being in a constant state of “getting ready, to get started, to commence, to begin.” The solution is simple: just get started!Start with just the first three steps of the task at hand. Then evaluate the results and take the next three steps and so on. Allow yourself to “learn as you go.”

2. Do the hardest thing first each day.

Dale Carnegie said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” This is a key point to understand when fighting the urge to put off taking action. It involves self-discipline and your ability to confront your fears about what needs to be done and what the outcome “might” be. Whatever the task may be, just get it done and behind you as soon as you can. Imagine the boost you will give to your self-confidence and self-esteem knowing that you “got it done!”

3. Fear: face it and push it aside.

Many procrastinate out of fear: the fear of failure; the fear of doing the wrong thing and making a mistake; the fear of looking silly; or the fear of rejection or criticism. These folks have not learned how to take a risk. Risk taking is how you move forward and the fear of taking a risk is like nailing your feet to the floor. You stay in the same place with no movement. When we take a risk, we feel “uncomfortable”. Many of you have heard me say that to be successful, you must learn to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.” That’s how you manage the fear. Nothing is ever as bad as we first think it may be. Evaluate the situation; consider the risk and then act.

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