One of my favorite authors Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog. A memorable title with a memorable point for all of the procrastinators in the world: Frogs are nasty and that’s why you have to eat them first!
You know as well as I that the biggest enemy of productivity is…drumroll, please…
Here are my thoughts on it shared on my other blog. I didn’t see much point in reinventing the wheel …
I read somewhere that successful people seldom procrastinate. I believe that to be true, and it has to do with mindset because mindset directly influences behavior.
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The Free Dictionary defines procrastination this way: “to put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.” There are three words in this definition you need to pay attention to: habitual carelessness and laziness.
There are thousands of books on how to avoid procrastination and a plethora of articles on the Internet that give great tips. In fact, I’ll list a few in a minute.
More important than the tips are those three words and how they create procrastination…
Habitual carelessness simply means neglecting–on purpose–the things that are important! Generally because we get tired or we get bored or we discouraged because things aren’t happening the way we want them to when we want them to. Basically, it’s not giving the thought and care to what we say is important.
Laziness simply means displaying a strong resistance to doing what needs to be done so that you can achieve success.
To put things into perspective here, procrastination is not the enemy of running a successful business or having a successful life–it’s a by-product of an engrained behavior steeped in carelessness and laziness.
You want to avoid procrastination? Change your habits! Period. Point blank. End of sentence.
Now, here are the tips. However, remember, the tips won’t change you–YOU have to change you!
8 Practical Tips to Avoid Procrastination
Set Realistic Goals. What is it that you want to achieve? I have a saying, “Pen it and win it! Making a written commitment means that you’re taking yourself, your life, and your business seriously.
Give your goals a drop-dead date. When you make up your mind that this must happen and it must happen by a certain period of time, then you will give yourself the psychological edge to literally put yourself on the spot to put up or shut up!
Create an atmosphere of accountability. For many, peer pressure can motivate you to get it done. I have several accountability partners. I check with them on Facebook. I tell them what I’m going to do, and I’ve given them permission to bother me until I get it done. My competitive nature loves it because I refuse to be the slacker in our group!
Eat that frog. Brian’s advice in Eat That Frog! is to do the hardest thing first. Eat the biggest and ugliest frog first and get it out of the way. Take a look at your list and identify the frog. That’s the one you want to take care of and then move on to the other stuff.
Chunk it. It’s critical to learn how to break things down so that you’re not experiencing overwhelm. When you try to do something beyond your human capacity to do, it can lead to putting it off and avoiding it, which is… Yep, you guessed it–procrastination!
Just do it! I teach in my time management seminars that perfectionism is the main reason for procrastination. Take a step and just do what you have to do. Quit waiting for the perfect time, the perfect person, the perfect whatever! Remember the Chinese proverb: “He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.”
Read Success and Inspiring Stories. One of my mentors Dave Sharpe calls this brain-washing! So many of us have our brains full of disempowering beliefs. One of the best ways to cleanse your brain is to listen to and expose yourself to successful people, then decide to model their successful behavior.
Celebrate your victories. Give yourself a psychological boost by celebrating whenever you complete a task
or achieve a minor goal. This can be as simple as rewarding yourself with a Kit Kat or spending some time with your family for a celebratory dinner. The whole point is to celebrate so that you can infuse yourself with that positive feeling of accomplishment and motivate yourself to keep it moving until you reach your major goal.
You have the definition of procrastination. You have the underlying reasons that create procrastination. You have the tips to avoid procrastination.
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The only thing left to do is to commit to not letting procrastination kill your productivity! So go ahead, eat that fat, ugly frog!
To your success,