Will You Stop Procrastinating Already? Read This Now and Start Taking Action
Like so many of you, procrastination is something that has plagued me my whole life. I have read numerous books, blog posts and articles that all presented a different way of dealing with and overcoming procrastination. All I did was find more excuses to put off the work I needed to be doing at that moment. In fact, reading about procrastination was just further procrastination!
I am going to share with you the only method that has ever worked for me. It has completely transformed my life by changing the way I tackle projects and get things done.
This simple and easily implemented strategy will teach you how to stop procrastination in its tracks.
But before we slay the dragon, we must understand it. We need to understand what procrastination is and why it happens so we can identify and eliminate it in our lives.
What is procrastination?
The dictionary.com definition of procrastination is:
“The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”
You might procrastinate because you feel:
- low on energy
For example, you put off doing the dishes because it’s a boring and tedious task. You don’t take action on a large project because you feel overwhelmed by its size or complexity. Maybe you put off emailing a customer because you are afraid of rejection.
You might not even be aware that you’re procrastinating, but if you examine your thoughts more closely, you will find that there is normally an emotional reason for why you are not taking action right now. As humans, we are hardwired for emotion. It’s our internal navigation, steering us clear of potentially dangerous or harmful situations. This internal system was crucial to survival a thousand years ago when humans hunted and faced life-threatening dangers on a daily basis. Nowadays, these same fight or flight emotions are triggered by situations with far less dangerous consequences. In the modern world, the only way to overcome procrastination is to identify, acknowledge and detach misplaced emotions from your thoughts and actions.
Stop letting your mind do the talking and just DO.
Let’s have a look at how you can stop procrastinating.
How you can stop thinking, and start taking action
This isn’t going to be a shock to you; it is really quite simple. If you want to stop procrastinating, you need to take action.
You choose a goal and you take action on it. Right now.
You don’t think about it. You just get started.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” — Bruce Lee
Okay, there’s a little bit more to it than that. Let’s break it down and outline exactly what you need to do.
Firstly, you need to have a specific goal. This goal will help determine your direction, but don’t waste too much time on picking the goal itself. For now, I suggest you spend no more than 30 minutes deciding on something you want to achieve. Take a piece of paper and write down one thing you need to do each day to get closer to achieving that goal. Just one thing that—if done daily—will move you towards that goal. We all have a good sense of what we need to do to achieve our goals, but we get off track by thinking that we need a perfect plan in place before we start. The best plan in life is the one you’re are taking action on. The rest you can learn as you go. By freeing yourself from the idea that things must be perfect to start, you learn to adapt to whatever situation you are in rather than quit when unforeseen issues arise.
When I first started learning to write, I read book after book on the best way to write. The problem was, I never actually ended up writing anything. I was just consuming tips and strategies, believing that I needed to be better before I started. I never made any real progress or improved my writing until I forced myself to embrace my skill level at that moment and start writing no matter how good or bad I was. I took the first step and then slowly implemented something new each time. I learned how to structure my paragraphs better. I learned how to optimise my posts for SEO. I learned what makes a good headline. Before I knew it, those small blocks of progress built a strong foundation and gave me momentum. It also gave me confidence in my writing—something that just can’t be acquired through reading.
Change your life, one hour at a time
If you want to take action on your goals, all you have to do is take an hour of action every day to start building momentum.
Here are some big things you could achieve with just one hour of action a day toward your goal.
- (Weight Loss/Gain) Plan and prepare your calorie–specific meals for the following day. In a week you will be gaining or shedding pounds.
- (Self-Publishing) Write 500 words towards your book. In 60 days you will have a 30,000–word book.
- (Budgeting) Plan your spending for the day. In a month you could be saving hundreds.
- (Fitness) Go to the gym or home exercise. After a week you will have completed 7 hours of exercise.
- (Content Marketing) Create 500 words of new content towards a blog post, article or book. After a month you will have 14 large blog posts.
- (Content Marketing) Plan and record 5 minutes of video. After a month you will have enough for a new online course
- (Job Promotion) Spend an hour a day learning and applying new skills for a promotion at work. After a month you will have learned 30 hours more than your competitors for the role.
- (Productivity) Spend an hour a day planning each day and week. By the end of the week you will be achieving triple the amount you were before.
- (Product Sales) Spend an hour a day cold calling/emailing people who might be interested in your services. In a month you could be doubling your sales.
The list of things you could achieve with this method is limitless. Just break your goal down into one-hour daily goals and take action immediately. Don’t wait until things are perfect, don’t think about the next step—just stay focused on your one-hour daily task and you will inevitably reach your goal.
What if I am taking the wrong action?
This is the best thing about this approach. There is no right or wrong path for achieving any goal. If you are taking action, then you are receiving live feedback. You will quickly work out what is giving you results and what isn’t. It is a positive feedback loop.
Your aim is to learn as you go and keep improving by 1% each day. After a year you are going to be 365% better than the year before. Just implement one new piece of learning each day. Even better, because you are taking action, it is going to reinforce the habit and keep you motivated at the same time.
So don’t get stuck in the perfectionist mindset. Don’t wait for the perfect time or until you have a fail-proof plan to take action. Stop being afraid of success. Stop thinking you’re not good enough. Just get started today. Who knows where you will end up.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”
— Zig Ziglar
Do the things you love consistently. Change your life today.
I would love to hear what you will be doing for an hour each day to reach your goal, so comment below!
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