Sunday, July 08, 2012

How To Avoid Procrastination

There is a quotation from Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, which says: “The principles always work if you work the principles”. To me, it does translate into a variation of the work ethic.  This means doing instead of just thinking. 

And doing is synonymous to action, execution, implementation, carrying out – all these convey the active mode as opposed to the passive mode of just thinking, wishing and wanting. 

The human brain knows no limits when it comes to thinking out ways and strategies in dealing with all kinds of problems, but if these strategies and plans are NOT acted upon, they really hold no meaning – they’re like empty blueprints camouflaged in sparkling rhetoric. 

Procrastination pervades every aspect of our lives.  And we’ve mastered it to perfection having learned a subtle form of it when we were babies. 

We delayed falling asleep because our mothers wouldn’t cradle us in her arms.  We’ve procrastinated in performing our duties at home, in school, in the work place, and in our most fragile human relationships.  We shudder to think what the final tally of lost hours will be because we procrastinated habitually.

Procrastination is an expensive habit.  I discovered that one of the ways that helps me avoid procrastination is to figure out the dollar amount of something that was not done because of procrastination. 

It all points to the generally accepted idea that time is money. This alone can serve as a strong motivator not to procrastinate again.  Or at least to try not procrastinate!

Jack Canfield quoted Brian Tracy to drive home the message:  “Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want”.

Not procrastinating will make us appreciate the life we have now.  And as we build on the small steps, we’d be amazed at how much we can accomplish over the years. In deciding not to procrastinate, you may want to accompany this determination with clear cut and well defined goals. 

In other words, have a goal that is quantified, and not just qualified. 

For example, saying “I will lose weight” is NOT as powerful as “I will lose 10 kilos by 30th September.”  These are concrete data you can work with.  “I will lose weight” sounds noble enough, but let’s be specific, shall we?

Do you have any tips on avoiding procrastination? I'd like to hear them.

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