Do you ever KNOW you need to do something, but are having trouble overcoming procrastination to actually get it done?
If so, you are definitely not alone!
There are times when the most productive among us feel a lack of motivation or a touch of procrastination.
We touched on the importance of of overcoming procrastination in the introductory blog post on this subject (In case you missed it, you can read that post on this link =>Need Help Overcoming Procrastination?)
I would like to offer you a simple (and even fun) method to help you get through those days when it seems as though you aren’t going to get anything done.
After you try this suggestion, I hope you’ll feel better about your progress, and also be able to toss away that guilty feeling that procrastinating and being non-productive in general seems to garner.
Ok, to start off, one definition of “procrastination” is: “putting off or delaying an action to a later time.”
Let’s say you have just promised a co-worker that you would take on a specific task (e.g. undertake some research).
Or, perhaps you committed to dropping a couple of excess pounds (e.g. planning a week’s worth of healthy meals).
You KNOW you have to actually DO something – but, COMMITTING to the action and then actually COMPLETING the action are two different things, aren’t they?
You’re physically ready and able to get to work, but find yourself stalling. For some reason, you are procrastinating. You want to “Seize the Day” with your wonderful intentions – but… you figure you can “Seize the day tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, every time you procrastinate you are fueling the fires of failure.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but that’s just the way it is (again, if you read my introductory blog entry on this topic, you know that I speak from years of experience!).
Overcoming procrastination is absolutely critical. If you are to achieve success, it is time to learn how to conquer the tendency to procrastinate.
Here is an idea that I hope will help you improve your odds of success – no matter whether it’s for the smallest of tasks and promises or the largest.
This is not a difficult technique, and you may even find that it’s fun!
The next time you feel stuck, or feel like “seizing the day tomorrow” grab a file folder and a few sheets of paper. This is your “Procrastination Dissolver” or “Procrastination Elimination” file.
You can call the file anything you want, as long as it keeps a somewhat light-hearted and positive tone to it (so that you WANT to work on it).”
On one of the blank sheets of paper, write down as many ideas as you can that are related in some way to your making progress – either project specific or in general.
These activities do not necessarily need to be the highest priority.
For example, a high priority item in your particular internet marketing business may be “Write and post 3 marketing articles this week.” But, during a time where you may be procrastinating, that particular activity may be the very one you are avoiding.
So, the activities that come to mind that may be suitable for this list might be:
-> Read and comment on ONE blog related to my business
-> Research ONE new keyword phrase that is related to my business.
-> Find my top competitor’s home page and make a list of the keywords in the source code.
-> Brainstorm and write down 5 potential article titles.
->Find and add new related blogs to “Favorites.”
Are you getting the idea?
Using the example of wanting to release a few excess pounds, and knowing full well you need to get outside and go for a walk or prepare that menu of healthy meals, the list might include suggestions like these:
-> Simply PUT ON the running shoes and do ONE stretch.
-> Go into the kitchen and drink a glass of water.
-> Get up from my chair right now and dance for the duration of ONE lively song on the radio/YouTube/cd
-> Go look in the mirror and spend a minute telling myself, “I AM making progress, and I AM doing what it takes.”
-> Make a shopping list of what I need to make that healthy salad dressing I’ve been wanting to try.
You can see that each small action item on the list is likely to take just a few minutes to actually complete – but the point is, DOING one means you have TAKEN ACTION – and this, sometimes, is all it takes to break out of that moment of lethargy, lack of motivation, or whatever it is that is causing the procrastination to begin with.
Now, take another sheet of paper and label it “SUCCESS!”
This sheet should have 4 columns. The first column can be the “Date,” followed by “Time Spent,” followed by “Activity Description,” and finally “Results.”
Store these sheets, along with some blank paper for future work. The next time you feel stuck or are procrastinating, take out this file, and choose one of the activities you have listed.
Then, work on that activity.
Finally, when you have had enough of that activity, record what you did, when you did it, how much time you spent on it, and any results you may have noticed upon completion. The result of any given activity may be as simple as, “Got a great idea for an ad – Have written it down.”
Using the first list I gave as an example, let’s say you chose the activity “Research ONE new keyword phrase that is related to my business.”
Here is what your “SUCCESS!” sheet entry might look like:
Date Time Spent Activity Results
3/10 10 minutes Researched Keyword Phrase Only 9 daily searches-No Go.
“Marketing to a niche.”
Or, let’s say you chose one of the weight loss activities.
Your “SUCCESS!” sheet might show this entry:
Date Time Spent Activity Results
3/10 20 minutes Put on my running shoes Felt better. Walked 15 minutes!
Ater you complete this exercise, you may find that you are now focused on work, and can move on to another, high priority business activity.
Overcoming procrastination may not always be easy, but it really is critical to your overall life strategies for success!
I hope this exercise was helpful to you! Please let me know if you try it, and what YOUR results are!
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