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How to Stop Procrastinating
We all have a dream. But many of us let our dream die inside by not taking necessary actions to achieve it. We sometime fool ourselves that, one day, all the pieces will magically come and stay together. That’s when our dream will come true. But that day never arrives because every day we delay our actions by a day. How often and how soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’. Before you realise it, your dream is lost forever.
Look throughout history at great achievers such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Sir Richard Branson. They were ordinary people, just like you. They didn’t procrastinate. They had an extraordinary determination to succeed. You can achieve great things too. When you work harder on your dreams, you will be even more successful. Now it’s time to take back control of your future. Based on Unstoppable You™, these are 3 easy ways to overcome procrastination.
3 Easy Ways to Overcome Procrastination
1. Pain to Power
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it is a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
You have a need to avoid pain and a desire to gain pleasure. You do more to avoid pain than you do to gain pleasure. You look forward to an immediate impact rather than a longer-term impact. If pain comes first, you will procrastinate… unless you will soon face a more unbearable pain.
Have you ever studied overnight to take the next day exam or worked overnight to prepare a presentation for tomorrow? Why didn’t you study or prepare the presentation a long time ago when you had more time? Did studying or preparing mean going to a bit of pain so you would rather be doing something else which gave you more pleasure?
If so, why did you study or prepare at the last minute? Was it because you felt that you would experience more pain if you did not study or prepare? So you would rather study or prepare the presentation than getting an F or getting fired.
Pain has a threshold. When you reach the threshold, you will say, “That is it! Enough! No more! I have had it! Never Again! This must change now!” When you hit this threshold and decide that you are not willing to settle for this massive pain anymore, you will take a less painful action to overcome a massive pain.
Bring the unbearable pain forward and add urgency to it to motivate yourself to immediate take action. How can you bring a pain forward if you haven’t experienced it yet? You simply ask people who experienced it or use your imagination. Do you have to jump out of the 10th floor to know that it would be painful? Use your imagination to bring an urgent negative consequence forward to motivate you. It’s Now or Never. Is Never really an option for you? What is the cost that you have to sacrifice if you don’t get your result? What is worth fighting for?
2. Pain to Pleasure
“Persons with comparatively moderate powers will accomplish much if they apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a time.”
Another reason why you don’t take action is because the task is so big and overwhelms you. When you take on a big complex task, you don’t know where to start. It seems to take a lot of time. It looks painful even before you start.
A way to reduce this pain and to encourage action is to cut down a big task into simpler and smaller tasks. It’s easier to do a small piece of a large project than to start on the whole project which overwhelms you.
When you accomplish a task, it gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. When you feel happier and more powerful, you’ll have more ambitious to finish another task, and then another task. When you keep this momentum going, you’ll complete all tasks in a more enjoyable way.
Break a task down, keep it simple, start small and keep the momentum going until the whole project is completed. If the tasks still overwhelm you, you’re in a perfectionist mode. The required tasks are usually not as many as you think. Put your tasks into 3 categories: must, should or could. Start with your ‘must’ to complete the core requirements. Then enhance it later.
3. Pleasure to Prosperity
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
The cause of procrastination is that you are trying to do something that you do not love. Chances are you may not get it done, you may not enjoy doing it or you may not get as great a result as you could.
There are at least 7 ways to overcome procrastination, do less of what you don’t love and do more of what you love.
- Automate, eliminate or delegate the task to others.
- Swap work with your colleague in a way that benefits both of you.
- Do a task in a more inspiring way, which produces the same result, by changing the process, location, time or people with whom you interact.
- Alter your perception of the task. It is a mind trick. When you do something that you do not love, think of a similar activity that you love. For an example, if you don’t love washing dishes but you love dancing, think that you are dancing instead of washing the dishes. While washing the dishes, why don’t you turn your music on, sing along and dance with your whole body – just the way you love it?
- Remind yourself ‘why’ you want to do it in the first place. What is the most desirable reward that you gain when you accomplish your goal? If the reason why you want it big enough, as bad as you want to breathe, you’ll be eager to do it.
- Change to do what you absolutely love. It is something that keeps you up at night and wake you up in the morning.
- and more …
Every action has a consequence. At what price are you willing to pay?
If you choose to live an easy life, you will forever end up uncomfortable.
If you choose to work on your dream, you will soon end up comfortable.
The Choice is Yours:
Mediocrity or Success
“I Choose Success Every Time”
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