Today’s post is dedicated to our wayward friend procrastination. I know him well. We are the best of friends. Alright, we are not friends anymore, and that’s fine with me. Good riddance!! Did he come knocking at your door when I threw him out? Sorry about that but here is what you can do if you want him to go away. First let me mention my love/hate relationship with procrastination and maybe you can relate it to yours.
My Relationship Issues With Procrastination And Why We Broke Up!!
I am a writer. Ok a dentist too, but I am also a writer. My biggest hurdle in life has been to overcome procrastination and actually do the things that matter to me and not the million things on my to-do lists that don’t matter. As a writer I found that getting myself to the page to write is like dragging an elephant across the room by attaching dental floss to its trunk and pulling with all your might. IT CAN’T BE DONE!! Every day procrastination would whisper sweet nothings into my ear such as “shh it’s ok, you can do it tomorrow”. I realized my so-called friend procrastination really didn’t like me very much and it was time to stop listening to him.
The Unopened Box
I tried every tactic I could think of to get myself to write but every time I found it easy to put it off once again. This went on for longer than I care to admit to you. Until one day I found myself starting at my brand new laptop that after months WAS STILL IN ITS BOX AND THE CHRISTMAS WRAP WAS STILL DANGLING FROM IT (thanks to my parents for the gift). Ok, not my proudest moment, but that was when I decided that enough was truly enough. It was time to send my friend procrastination packing.
Golden Tips For Getting Rid Of Your Procrastination For Good
1) Identify What It Is You Are Avoiding
This part is easy. For me it was writing, but for you it may be something else. It could be starting a new career, finishing a project, or changing something in your life. Whatever it is, simply acknowledging it will give it credibility, and make it more tangible to you.
2) Take The First Step
Do the first step towards your goal. Don’t think. Just do it. Thinking and over-thinking is what got you into this mess. For me, it was as simple as opening a box. That simple step took me months to do. Often its our fears that keep us from taking the first step. Get over that hurdle and just take that first scary step. The rest is easier, I promise.
3) Break Everything You Need To Do Into Steps And Then Take The Second Step
Breaking it down makes it a lot easier than thinking about what you need to do as a huge project. You don’t want to scare yourself off and forget the whole thing and run back into the waiting arms of procrastination (and believe me he will be waiting).
4) Do Something Towards Your Goal Everyday
Make it a point to do something every single day and actually do it. Set aside a bit of time every day. You can find the time.
5) Minimize Your Distractions- you know what they are
Simplify your life as much as possible. Do you really need to play on the internet as much as you do? Is attending a million happy hours a week necessary for your survival? Believe me, I am not judging. Think about what your are doing with your time every day that you can live without and extract it from your life like a bad tooth. (sorry, couldn’t resist a tooth analogy)
6) Stay On Track
If you fall off track, so what? Pick yourself up and keep going. I fell off track so many times I could write a book only about that. Don’t belittle yourself. Be nice to yourself. You have to hang out with yourself all day everyday for the rest of your life. Forgive yourself if you fall off track and get back on.
Your Life Without Procrastination
Soon, not procrastinating will be as natural to you as flossing. Ok, just kidding! I know that most of you don’t floss…Soon not procrastinating will be as natural to you as NOT flossing, as natural as breathing, as blinking….well, you get my point. Then what happens?
With procrastination no longer living with you and eating all of your food, you have the space and time in your life you always dreamed of. You will accomplish your goals. Simple as that.
Procrastination may decide to knock on your door one day begging to be let back into your life. It’s ok if you miss him a little but pretend it’s some guy at your door selling encyclopedias and don’t answer it…….remember encyclopedias?? No? Then you never had to carry those heavy books with your skinny arms around the school library trying to finish your report on Mount Vesuvius and learn about how it is 1277 meters high and 30 miles long at its base and 17,000 years old….you just used the internet didn’t you? Ok, I’m embarking on a MAJOR tangent here…this is my vain effort to procrastinate cleaning the house…..now as I am finishing this post on my laptop that is clearly out of the box I smile to myself knowing that I won this little battle in my life…..
Until next time!