Are you ready to get it done? If, you said no then welcome to my world. We are the select group that the world refers to as procrastinators. However, that is not my belief. I believe that we are just geniuses who work better under pressure. In fact, many procrastinators wait until the very last minute and still produce amazing work. While others try to make a recovery and it doesn’t pan out. Well, there’s always tomorrow, right? Wrong. But tomorrow becomes an endless sea of never-ending tomorrows.
What’s the old saying, oh yeah “why put off tomorrow what you can do today”? Unfortunately, procrastinators like us tend to do the opposite of that statement. Making “putting it off till tomorrow” an ongoing habit. Luckily, I’m here to share my secrets on how I broke free and discover the art of “getting it done.” I use the word art because breaking free of such habits requires carefully crafted routines that deliver greater rewards than your current ones. So, let’s hesitate no longer.
Secrets to Ending Procrastination
Secret 1. No more excuses.
We procrastinators are pros at convincing ourselves to wait. We are masters at it. Actually, never has a collection of words been so properly placed, then on the tongue of a procrastinator who’s trying to avoid something. Phrases like, “I’ll just do it tomorrow, or there’s no real rush, are favorites of mine. Sound familiar? If it does, do yourself a favor. Stop listening! When you begin to make excuses, you automatically give yourself reasons to not act. To reverse that behavior you must stop yourself.
Count to three and ask yourself “why not now?” Questions like that make you question your decision to wait. Yes, you ask, “why not now?” The very next thing you know you are doing it. So, next time you start the excuse train, pump the breaks and ask yourself, “why not do it now instead of waiting?” Watch what happens!
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Secret # 2: Act quickly
Once you have silenced that inner voice (that’s proven to be your foe) act. Get up and move your butt immediately. Literally, the quicker you act the less chance you have of talking yourself out of it. So move and move fast. Even allowing yourself one second to think, may greatly reduce your chances of following through. So as Nike says, just do it!
Secret # 3: Be firm but affirming with yourself
Be your own cheerleader and coach. Wait, before you slap on that old uniform from your past, take a moment to reflect. Who has been there for you every step of the way? You! That’s right. You! You are your biggest supporter. Your number one fan. In order to make any change permanent, you must first convince YOU that it’s possible.
Then you must use constant reaffirmations to keep yourself motivated. Woo, that was a lot of you(s), but you know what I mean. Tell yourself that lagging is a choice and that you choose action instead. Just being firm with yourself in that regards lets your subconscious mind know that you are not taking any more crap. You are in control.
Secret #4: Fight that feeling.
Procrastinators don’t just wait for the fun of it. Often times they feel a physical reason for not moving as well. It comes in the form of lack of motivation, which feels a little like the sloth effect. You’re moving slow or enjoying your current activity so much that acting is just not worth it. Oh, but it is!
Putting off an activity until a later time wears heavily on our minds. We will sometimes think about the task the entire time while we put it off. This makes for an uncomfortable chill time. Doing that activity immediately and getting it done right the first removes that burden and the guilt that hinders your present enjoyment. So, replace that lack of desire with how great you’ll feel once it’s finished.
Secret #5: Remove enablers.
Every good procrastinator has an enabler. That buddy, friend, or family members that help you make excuses as to why you should hold off. If you don’t believe me, think about the time you told someone you were going on a diet. The first thing they probably said is, “that’s great.” All clear right? Wrong. The next thing they’ll tell you about is the great meal they are about to have. And of course, you being the procrastinator you are, say “well I can always start tomorrow.”
As a matter of fact, more diets begin tomorrow then even other action. The problem is that tomorrow never comes. If that doesn’t ring a bell, what about the friend who drops by just to say “hi.” You’re getting ready to do the lawn, but they have a great idea to hang. “You can always do it tomorrow,” he says. “You deserve some fun, come on.” If you find yourself constantly saying “you know you’re right, I do deserve a break.” Then you have an enabler. Remember the person will be there once the job is done and so will the fun. So, stay strong. Tell them that you finishing the job is paramount and you don’t appreciate the distraction. Calmly remind them that there are other times and you would love to take a rain check. Whatever you do just don’t fall into the trap.
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