Napoleon Hill said, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” And Poet Edward Young said, “Procrastination is the thief of time”. It’s now mid-October with less than three months remaining in the year 2018. If like me, you are wondering where has the time gone. So, this week I decided to focus on procrastination and offer some tips on how to overcome it.
Procrastinators tend to put off all the hard stuff for tomorrow. But they get stuck in a vicious cycle of also postponing the easy tasks. The longer they put them off, the harder the jobs are when they finally get around to them. Successful people fight the same battles against procrastination that we all face, but they have learned not to give in. They know that procrastination is the cause of many of the problems we face in our daily lives.
Procrastination creates a never-ending cycle of frustration, stress, and defeat. No matter how long you've been struggling with the demon of procrastination, you can do more with your time by taking on the tasks or responsibilities you've been putting off.
I believe that procrastination is a major cause of our failure to live the life we desire. Knowing what needs to be done and getting it done are two different things. The unwillingness to act is often at the root of our problems. Best-selling author Wayne Dyer said: "Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases, and its toll on success and happiness is heavy."
I encourage you to take the first step towards a more productive life by taking action to overcome procrastination. Begin with an honest critical analysis of your behavior to eliminate procrastination and get things done by answering “yes” or “no” to these statements:
1. I have written a list of my daily tasks.
2. I have written a list of my short-term goals (6 months or less).
3. I keep these lists where I can see them; they help me stay focused.
4. I establish priorities; some things that seem urgent are not important when I focus on the big picture. Yes ( ) No ( )
5. Once I've decided, I don't worry about whether I made the right decision or not-I just concentrate on getting the task done or accomplishing the goal.
6. I know when to say "no" to avoid taking on too many tasks at once.
7. I live in the moment; I focus on what I'm doing now instead of dwelling on what I should have done in the past.
8. When I've done the best I can, I know when to wind up a task-spending more time on the same task only keeps me from starting something new.
If you answered "no" to any of the above statements, make a commitment to take corrective action today. Choose one item and do something about it. Don't move on to the next item until you can truthfully answer "yes" to the previous one. You've taken the first step by reading this far; now take the next step and do something you've been putting off. If you want to change, you can-the best time is now.
As the novelist George Eliot said, "It's never too late to be the person you could have been." Today is a good day to start.