Wonder why things aren’t getting done? Could procrastination be the problem? What is it and why is it stopping us from creating what we want?
The definition of procrastination is “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”
Joseph Heller said, “Procrastination is the thief of time.”
It’s thinking too much and not acting, which results in you not moving forward.
What causes procrastination?
There are a number of possibilities.
- Maybe you are waiting for the right time.
Do not wait, the time will never be “just right”. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along – Napoleon Hill
- Maybe you are not clear on what it is that you want to achieve or perhaps not clear on the steps to take to achieve it.
- You may be overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of the tasks set before you. This can also keep you stuck.
- If you have started tasks and not completed them.
- Thinking of ideas and not acting on them can contribute to procrastination.
- A lack of thorough planning can lead to procrastination, as can a lack of purpose (why am I doing this anyway?)
How do you know if you procrastinate?
- Asking yourself “am I getting things done?” is the simplest way to find out.
- Do you have a long list of unfinished tasks?
- Are there emails that you resist taking action on?
- Do you beat yourself up for not making a decision on things?
What can be done to overcome procrastination?
- Firstly, be willing to make decisions. “Be willing to make decisions … Don’t fall victim to what I call the “ready – aim – aim – aim” syndrome. You must be willing to fire” – T. Boone Pickins
- You may not think of yourself as a leader, but you are. You are leading your life. As a leader, you need to be making decisions. Good or bad. Right or wrong. Make that decision; if it is wrong, fix it later. Be bold. Be brave.
- Choose to start. Don’t let your ideas just be ideas and your dreams just be dreams. Start, and see what happens.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney
- Take action. Any action. And keep taking action. Choose and act. Choose and act.
One school of thought says “take massive action”. Can you ramp things up? Can you increase your output?
You never know how much you can get done. You never know the impact of the actions you take until you take them.
Action is the foundational key to all success – Pablo Picasso
Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today – Benjamin Franklin
Now is the watchword of the wise – Charles Spurgeon
Ask yourself “Did I do what I said I was going to do? Am I keeping my word to myself? Do I have integrity … with myself?”
Keeping your word to yourself has a significant role in increasing self-esteem and self-belief. “I said I was going to do it, and I did it. What’s next?”
Finally, your problem may simply be that you lack the knowledge or resources to move forward.
To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing – Eva Young
Les Watson (aka the Time Lord), Author/Speaker/Trainer/Control Expert, Get More Time
His book ‘Get Back An Hour In Every Day‘ is available from http://www.getmoretime.com.au/store