Having got a brief period of time before my next meeting, I started down the road of skimming through my LinkedIn / Facebook and came across two or three articles on Procrastination and realised, to my shame - I really should know better, that I really could be using my time more efficiently.
I wasn't really taking advantage of the small hiatus in my day, but rather, wasting it. So why do we procrastinate and , more importantly, how can we overcome it?
One thing had come out of my 10 minute surf, I had come across a number of great articles, together with a fabulous Ted Talk by Tim Urban, "Inside the mind of a master procrastinator", which I'd seen before, but through reading these, I still remain unsurprised that whilst we can understand procrastination, categorise and dissect it, we still fail to get to grips with it ... in short we continue to procrastinate over beating our procrastination.
Tim's talk really helped define what is going on in the serial procrastinator's brain. It's not necessarily putting off the tasks, but seeing them as secondary to the excitement of the day, which may come in various forms, a contact on Facebook that you haven't spoken to in a while, an interesting article that you must read right now and all the while the deadlines for copy, for calls that you must make, for bills you must pay, just slip away. As Tim puts it, it is not until the 'Panic Monster' rears its head and we find ourselves galvanised, and suddenly everything else is on the back burner and then heaven and earth are moved to ensure that we deliver.
We are all different but I'd like to share some hints and tips that work for me and others I work with, to help with overcoming your own procrastination and get more done.
1) Have a vision: what is it you want to achieve? Can you really describe it, do you live it in your mind? Even the great Bhudda said, "The mind is everything. What you think about, you become".
2) Define and remember your 'Why' and make it as strong as you can. What is it that started you on your path, what is it that drives you now? A habitual smoker won't necessarily be motivated to give up smoking when TOLD that it's bad for their health, but being told they are going to be a father or mother, and they want to grow old to watch their child to start school, to graduate, to walk down the aisle as father of the bride, provides a far higher motivation to succeed.
3) Have goals, goals that really motivate you, goals that make you 'sing'. Getting excited about what you are doing provides a high that can carry you along the path, whilst not as strong as the emotional response that you may have to Tim's 'Panic Monster' they will help you on your way.
4) Have a plan, a real plan, one that takes your vision, outlines you goals and provides you with your tasks, tasks that are dated so that you've can capture your own 'Panic Monster', tame him but let him loose in little bursts to keep you moving forward.
But most of all,
5) Enjoy what you do, get excited, get passionate and active. Take action today.