Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.
I was looking for something to read at Barnes & Noble with my friend Alison the other day (Yes, I still go to a bookstore to look for actual books) when I came across a little book that spoke to me. The Procrastination Cure: 7 Steps To Stop Putting Life Off by Jeffery Combs
I have never thought of myself as someone who procrastinates, especially lately with all these projects that I have been juggling. But I do see this dilemma in other people every day, and after reading so much about the phenomenon of procrastination, I realized that sometimes, in fact, I do suffer from that affliction! The horror!
“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
"I'll do it tomorrow" is the mindset of many. The problem is, tomorrow becomes today fast! The tomorrow goal eventually becomes a next week goal, then a next month goal, then a next year goal and never gets done. Time runs out for everyone, but it does so far more quickly for procrastinators.
Procrastinators put off almost everything they have to do, but there is "decisional procrastination," meaning they put off making decisions relating t0 specific topics until their back is against the wall or someone else does it for them. This is totally me when it comes to anything having to do with accounting; I hate working on paperwork, taxes, etc, (The artist in me) and tend to avoid it like the plague until it's down to the wire.
Some of the reasons we procrastinate are fear of failure, success, control, separation and attachment. For the next 7 days I will share with you Jeffery Comb's 7 practical ways (habits) to get things done without the major stalling and I will pepper them with some ideas and tips of my own.
I encourage you to get the book but if you are a procrastinator about getting a new book and reading it, let me give you some of its insights.
Habit number one:
Habit yourself in time
In developing this new habit, we start working with time frames and develop a greater sense of time, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one quarter, one year, etc. This is a very important concept, to break time into chewable pieces!
As with any business,you may have other obligations at attend to- a job, family, a partner, pets, etc,and it is very easy to get overwhelmed.
This habit will help you with the concept of time management. Combs suggests to break things down into 15 minute increments as you can accomplish a lot in 15 minutes! Once you get good at staying focused within the 15 minute time frame,you can move to 30 minute, 1 hour and up increments. In order to stay in time, set up phone or I-Pad alarms for each task, that will remind you to quit when it goes off. There's a lot you can accomplish in one hour don't you think? When you start to look too far into the future any task or project can seem close to impossible. So when you get overwhelmed again, change your perspective think about breaking your goals for what you need to achieve down in 15 minutes at a time. How to make calls for your business? How many calls can you make in 15 minutes? LOTS!
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having toot much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”
Just break down what you want to get done. It looks like a lot less when you look at it in little chunks. We all have the SAME amount of time, it is just what we do with it.
Stop the excuses and embrace the power of The Fifteen Minutes!
What goals are you working on and how can you break action steps into 15 minute increments?
I also found this short video by another author, Neen James, speaking about the power of 15 Minutes on WFMZ-TV’s…enjoy!