While I was procrastinating on writing the Thursday 3… just kidding. I wouldn’t call myself a procrastinator however I sometimes do delay tasks until I have the inspiration thus one might call me an ‘intentional delayer.’
According to Dr. Joseph Ferrari, Professor of Psychology at DePaul University, 20 percent of people are chronic procrastinators. The other 80%? Either people who are meticulous at getting things done on time or beforehand, or like me – intentional delayers.
Regardless of the spin we put on it, let’s face it – we all procrastinate on certain things. It could be our workout, getting a project done, returning an email to a client, or following-up with a potential prospect. Okay – let’s add the annual physical, updating our will, and a host of other things that are significantly important and somehow, we tend to avoid them especially when we have a lot of ‘life’ going on.
The good news is that as I was launching a new company, developing current ones, meal planning, and spending numerous hours at a clinic getting treated for Lyme disease – no sympathy please, I am tough…I spent time contemplating procrastination and various techniques to triumph over the urge to slide into an apathetic messed up state where we avoid all the necessary aspects of our lives and that my friend, is the inspiration for this week’s 3.
As I pondered procrastination, three simple strategies came to mind. I effectively use these myself and it is my hope that regardless of where you categorize yourself, you will also find success in torching procrastination.
Torch Procrastination in 5 Seconds Like Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins is a best-selling author, speaker, and trainer. I have shared the stage with her and the simple message of simply counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, and then taking the leap is both effective and brilliant.
Ms. Robbins suggests that when we think about things for too long we can talk ourselves out of them. For example, we have a prospect to follow-up with, and we begin to rationalize that this person will not want to hear from us. Instead, using Ms. Robbins technique, we can avoid the pain of out thinking ourselves and take action.
30 Seconds of Outcomes
We often procrastinate because we forget the true power of the outcome. For example, let’s say you know you need to do a physical, and it is the last thing you want to do. Making a conscious decision to remember why the physical is important, and I mean truly consciously, and not superficially, will help you re-connect with the importance.
A technique I use is to take 30 seconds and write out all the reasons why that task is important. For example, as I was contemplating this week’s 3, I thought about one of our champions, Bruce, who loves The 3. I thought about those of you who write in that you find these tips helpful in achieving greater productivity. I thought about my vision to help small business owners truly step into their power. As I spent 30 seconds considering these outcomes, the entire theme unfolded and instead of intentionally delaying the task, I was excited to get it done.
Channel Someone You Admire
This is one of the most simple and elegant ways to stop procrastinating in seconds. Choose someone you deeply admire and ask yourself what they would choose to do. Would the person you admire avoid making the follow-up call or working on their proposal? Most likely not.
Some of my clients even print a photo of a person they feel has ‘it’ going on and put it up in their office as a reminder not to procrastinate. Bottom line – it works!
Alright, that is it for this week’s 3. I wish you many years of non-procrastination and many less intentional delays.
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