We all make the choice to suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is born from one, or a combination of, the following:
- Trying to be a perfectionist.
- A lack of self-discipline.
- The inability to fight off distractions.
- A lack of specific goals and fear.
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do, but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? Whatever your reason might be, the fact is, you are procrastinating.
Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you overcome procrastination:
1. Stop Trying to be Perfect
While planning and goal setting are important, trying to identify every issue you “might” face can be deadly. In fact, when you do this, you make the task more complicated than it needs to be. You get stalled even before you start because the plan is “just not perfect yet.” The solution is simple: Take action! Make the decision to get started! Start with just the first three steps of the task at hand. Do one thing to get rolling. Even a bad decision is better than no decision and a bad decision can always be fixed. It was Martin Luther King Jr who said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
2. Do the Hardest Thing First
Dale Carnegie said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” This is a key point to understand when fighting the urge to put off taking action. Whatever the task might be, just get started; get it done and behind you as soon as you can. Besides giving a power boost to your productivity, imagine the boost you will give your self-confidence and self-esteem knowing that you “got it done!”
3. Fear: Face it and Push it Aside
Many procrastinate out of the fear of failure, the fear of doing the wrong thing or of making a mistake, the fear of rejection or criticism, and even the fear of success. These folks have not learned how to take a risk. Risk taking is how you move forward and the fear of taking a risk is like nailing your feet to the floor. You stay in the same place with no movement. When we take a risk, we feel “uncomfortable”. Many of you have heard me say that to be successful, you must learn to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.” That’s how you manage the fear. Nothing is ever as bad as we first think it might be and in most cases, every mistake can be fixed.