Putting things off until tomorrow or next week will almost always turn into another tomorrow or another week‚ or worse yet, never.
Procrastination becomes a habitual and conditioned behavior that will destroy any chance of real achievement.
There are several ways to procrastinate:
- You can put things off by never choosing to do anything
- You can also put things off by choosing to do something, but never starting it.
- You can put things off by starting something, but not continuing it.
- You can continue, continue, continue, something, but never finish it!
Those four approaches to achievement require no time-line or accountability, and offer very little in the form of reward or success.
The fifth approach‚ start, continue and finish‚ does require you to set a time-line, hold yourself accountable, and take massive and consistent action. In the achievement process, it is vital, even though the task may eventually get done, that you do not put off until tomorrow something that you could have done today. Doing so sends a message to your unconscious mind and the universe that “maybe you’re not really that serious about your objective. Maybe there are more important things, like e-mail, TV, or hanging with your friends.” Is that the message you want to send, or are you serious about achieving your desired outcome?
There is a caveat, however: If you find at any point in the pursuit of your goal that you’re just not falling in love with the idea of achieving it, then maybe what you’re pursuing just isn’t what you really want after all. If your goal was to learn how to play golf and it turns out you hate the game, why continue? Call the goal completed, and move on to something you are passionate about. It is not a failure only feedback. If you continue to pursue it just because you feel like you have to finish what you start your likely hood of procrastination will go up 10 fold. And you will ultimately feel like you actually did fail and with good reason.
The number one way to end procrastination forever is to do only what you are passionate about and love doing. If your goal is to lose weight but you hate going to the gym, you will continue to put off going to the gym until you wind up not going at all. If your final desired outcome is to look and feel great, and losing 20 pounds will help you achieve it, find a way to achieve your sub-goal that does not involve having to go to the gym or doing something you hate.
One of my coaching clients had just that very dilemma. He absolutely hated having to work out, especially indoors when the weather outside was beautiful. We tossed around some ideas, and he finally remembered that he loved to play volleyball as a kid. I suggested that he seek out opportunities in his community to play the game for fun or sport. As it happened, there was an outdoor volleyball court in the nearby park, and a group of people would get together to play three times each week. He watched for a couple of games and then asked if there was a chance for him to join in. Sure enough, he wound up playing three days per week for almost 90 minutes each day for the next three months. Not only was he able to lose the weight and gain the energy he wanted, but he made some really great new friends along the way.
Forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy or flat-out hate will almost assuredly lead to procrastination and failure.