In this day and age we are so inundated with choice and opportunity that you might even say we are spoiled for choice. There is just so much that we could do that we often end up not doing anything at all. Procrastination is one of the biggest dream killers. In a world where there is so much demand for your attention it is becoming ever more difficult to stay focussed and act on the things that would truly give you an extraordinary quality of life. Time is, was and will always be your most valuable asset and the way you use it will determine what you create or fail to create with and for your life. Having an effective strategy for overcoming procrastination is critical if you truly want to push past short term obstacles to create a life of fulfilment.
The abundance that modern life offers us tends to overwhelm us which leads to an emotional overload that will distract you and scatter your effort and concentration. There simply isn’t enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time for the most important things in your life. Success at anything in life, whether it be your finances, your relationships or your body, requires an investment of time and effort from you. You need to focus and concentrate your physical and emotional resources on creating a desired result.
The first step in overcoming procrastination is to get clear on exactly what you want from every area of your life. This clarity will give you the power to look past distractions that may throw you off course. It gives you a direction and a target and will help to build a mental picture for your life. One of the most destructive effects of procrastination is that it makes you feel out of control; like the events of your life are controlling you. If you don’t know what you want it is all too easy to jump from one task to the next. Apart from knowing what you want you should also develop some strong reasons why you want it. This will give you a sense of purpose and motivation that is critical for staying focussed long term.
The truth is that most people know what they need to do to create their life the way they want it. The challenge is not with knowing what to do, but in doing what you know. The only way you will create any result in your life is by taking action and procrastination is what prevents you from acting on the very things you know would give you a greater quality of life. The reason why people procrastinate is primarily because of fear, especially fear of failure. By not taking action and postponing important actions you avoid the potential for failing. The only reason why you procrastinate about anything is because at some level you link more pain to taking action than to not taking action. The ridiculous truth is that these “links” are mostly conjured up (by you) in your mind and they are not even real. When you make a task too big in your mind it will overwhelm you and it would seem too difficult and too big and you will end up procrastinating.
One of the most powerful strategies for overcoming procrastination is to learn how to break your tasks up into bite size pieces. Any task, no matter how big, can be broken down into small manageable tasks that are easy to do. If you focus on climbing Mount Everest it will probably put you off immediately, but if you focus on climbing seven small mountain sections it becomes more believable. The power of chunking down your “big” tasks empowers you to take back control of any overwhelming situation – you cut it down to size. Your size.
One of the quickest ways to overcome procrastination is to learn and utilize the power of immediacy. What can you do immediately? What action can you take right now that will move you closer to your goal? Doing something, no matter how small, will immediately break your mental pattern of procrastination and put you back in control. Taking the first step, even if it is small will create momentum and you will almost automatically be driven to take another step. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you take the first step. Just do it. Just get it going. Often you will only know what to do next after taking that first step.
There are many strategies and skills you can use for overcoming procrastination. You don’t have to be stuck or spinning your wheels. Like any skill you need to learn and practise it until you get good at it. Eventually it will become an automatic response and you will develop the habit of taking action despite your fears and apparent limitations.