This post is written by Bernard Haynes. He writes on vision and leadership empowerment at Lead to Impact. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.” Author Unknown
What dreams have you forfeited pursuing today because you keep waiting for tomorrow? What dreams have you put on hold because of your current situation? I will be the first to admit, I have discarded or delayed many of my dreams because of what I perceived to be insurmountable circumstances.
Struggling with procrastination
Procrastination is the biggest hurdle that I had to overcome in pursuing my vision. I prayed about it, talked about it, listened to encouraging messages for inspiration and received wise counsel from mentors, but I continued to struggle with procrastination.
I had great ideas of things I wanted to do. I wrote them down. I shared them with my wife and everyone who would listen.
I had a dream for over three years to start a blog website and write an inspirational book helping people realize and write their personal vision. I would make every excuse imaginable for why I couldn’t start the blog or write the book. I would say, “I am not good at writing. Who will read my material?” or “I need to wait for a certain person’s approval.”
I remember telling my wife about the website and book project I desired to do. When I finished telling her my detailed vision, she looked at me and said in her southern vernacular, “You are always “fittin” to do something.” I shrugged it off at first, but as I thought about what she said, it hit me: she was right.
I sat down and began to write everything I said I was going to do or projects that I had started, but never finished. After I finished, I had eight things on my list.
I was embarrassed and ashamed. I had squandered precious time procrastinating and delaying what I needed to do. The saying, “What you focus on the longest becomes the strongest” was true in my life concerning procrastination. It was a major stronghold.
10 action steps to assassinate procrastination
Please be encouraged: you can overcome the hindering grip of procrastination. It will take a concentrated effort and an uncompromising commitment to transform from a procrastinator to a person of action.
Here are ten steps you can take to assassinate procrastination.
- Document your reasons for procrastinating. Write a list of things you want to do but never did because you procrastinated. List the reasons why you procrastinated. This exercise will make your procrastination more real.
- Change what you say. Instead of saying, “I can do this tomorrow,” say, “I am going to do this today,” or “I am not a procrastinator because I do everything in a timely manner.” Create a list of positive affirmations that speak against procrastination. Read your list daily.
- Create a goals list. Start off with no more than two or three goals. Break your larger goals into smaller manageable action steps.
- Do one task at a time. Stay focused on one task until it is complete. Do not try to multi-task.
- Knock out the hardest goals first. This will give you the greatest sense of progress and your confidence to succeed will be strengthened.
- Know what you can handle. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Two to three goals spread over several areas of life is a good start. If that is too many, one major goal will work.
- Enlist help from others. Find a couple of people you can trust to share your struggles. You will need the honesty, encouragement and support from these trusted individuals to help you continually conquer procrastination.
- Eliminate distractions. Get rid of anything or anyone that will distract you from breaking through the bonds of procrastination. Do not hold on to them because they make you feel secure. Release them and move on.
- Reward yourself. No matter how small a victory maybe, reward yourself and get back to work.
- Don’t give up. No matter how difficult it gets, stay committed to overcoming the stronghold of procrastination. It may get tougher, but don’t give in or give up. Stay the course of the fight because, in the end, you will be glad you did.
If you want to live your vision to the fullest, you must refuse to allow procrastination to have any power in your life.
Question: What do you need to stop procrastinating about and take immediate action?