Mark Twain once said “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.” And on the same topic, Benjamin Franklin is often quoted…. “You may delay, but time will not.” Let’s face it. Procrastination is a problem for almost all of us, and many psychologists estimate that 20% of us have severe issues with procrastination. This is not a trait that business people should ignore.
There are five actions we can take to reduce procrastination:
1. Stop making excuses. What do you make excuses about? Do you ever say to yourself "When things settle down, then I'm going to ..." Things will never settle down. You must make a choice to prioritize what is important now.
2. Start today. Not next month, next week, or tomorrow.
3. Establish a planned schedule. You need to designate some specific time slots each week for the things you need to do. Whatever it is, put it on your calendar. And if it’s a big task, break it into bite-size pieces.
4. Face your fears. We hate to admit we have fears, because we think they’re a sign of weakness. Only fools are not afraid. You’ve heard it said, “Courage is not the absence of fear; it's moving ahead in spite of our fears.”
5. Focus on what you gain, not the pain. There are very few things in life that are easy. You must push through the frustration and look at the gain beyond the pain. Concentrate on how good you're going to feel once you've finished the task.
We all know that those things in life that are worthwhile don’t come easy. To achieve our goals, especially in our careers, there must be sacrifice, commitment, and steady determination.