Procrastination is a big reason that some people fail to live richer and more fulfilling lives. They just can’t seem to get started, and it becomes a habit.
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow, what should have been done the day before yesterday.” ― Napoleon Hill
If you’re stuck in a rut of habitual procrastination, make up your mind to stop making excuses. Re-Commit to your goals, get leverage and motivate yourself, and … allow for no more excuses … none. Get emotional about it. Determine that you won’t let anything stop you from attaining what you want.
If you’ve been making excuses for putting things off, here’s how you can take charge of your life.
First, think about all the things you’ve been postponing – at work, at home, in your personal relationships, or for your personal development.
Make a list. Don’t worry if it is a long one. This is a work in progress. There is no judgement here, just write everything you have been putting off, everything that has been holding you back up until today. This is a key use of words … “up until today”.
The past does not equal the future, just because you have been acting a certain way before, does not mean you will act that way tomorrow. Commit to the change.
Now choose one thing on that list that you can do something about today. Write down every excuse you’ve given yourself for not having done anything about it yet.
Ask yourself if you have considered all the consequences of your procrastination in this area. Do you want to live with them?
Do you have a legitimate reason for postponing this job? If not, then get to it immediately.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill”
You have to be honest about this or it won’t work. Forget about what other people think; look in the mirror and ask the hard questions. If you do have a legitimate reason for delaying action in this area, then move on to another item on the list.
Find something that you can make happen right now, right today, simply by deciding to make it happen. Now do it.
When you have completed this task successfully, your satisfaction will help motivate you to repeat this process with another item on your list. Just take them one by one without looking at the whole list and getting overwhelmed.
Overwhelm can lead to procrastination behavior. If all this seems too much to tackle all at once, then stagger this exercise so that you can get it done in a week or a month. Or, just work on this every day for 15 minutes if that is simpler. But… do complete it.
Successful people know that a lot of their accomplishments depend on two things: taking action and staying focused on their goals. People who are successful in any business or profession have an ability to make things happen.
Successful people win the war against procrastination because they develop certain traits. This gets repetitious, but here we go again.
When you are finished with the present task, go back to your list and choose another task or project. Write down every excuse you’ve been giving yourself for not getting started, or for leaving it unfinished.
Put as many things on the list as you can think of. Now try to eliminate one excuse at a time. Ask yourself hard questions:
Why do I have to postpone this project? Is it necessary to go on postponing it? If my mentor were in my situation, would he postpone it?
What will happen if I keep putting this off? If I keep putting this off, when will I get it done?
Can I get started on it now? What part of the job could I complete now? If I postpone this job now, what other job will I tackle to make better use of my time?
As you successfully eliminate each excuse, think of what more you can do today, and do it.
Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Make a decision to start improving your world today.
To defeat procrastination and get all you want out of life, here is what you want to do:
1. You must know what you want. (Define Specific Target or Goal)
2. You must take action. (Increase Leverage, Motivation and Discipline)
3. Be willing to make mistakes & learn from them. (Monitor, Be Flexible & open to Change)
4. Persist and Stop making excuses! (Develop Determination and Commitment)
You can do it. Go ahead, live your best life, procrastination free!
Here are Napoleon Hill’s Goal Setting Steps as written out in Think And Grow Rich to help you achieve your goals.