Make up your mind - Stop procrastinating

April 26, 2012, 9:36 am Simon Boulton Yahoo!7

Tired of putting off till tomorrow what you can do today? There are some proven ways to help beat the procrastination blues.

Have you ever had that feeling that you would rather just put what you need to do today away for later, or worst, tomorrow? Yes, we are all human and we do sometimes succumb to putting off some of the things that we are “supposed” to finish today. Fact its 9.20pm and I was “supposed” to be starting this article at 4pm and the voice on my shoulder is telling me “don’t worry about it, do it in the morning”. If it wasn’t so ironic I probably would.

Procrastination is a time thief that bedevils most of us who would rather be doing more of the things we love to do.

If you are tired of procrastinating, take one minute right now to read the tips below that have proven effective in overcoming the most hard core cases of procrastination. Then make a decision to implement at least one of them in the next 24 hours, keeping in mind when it comes to those things that you care about most in life, delay is increasingly expensive.

Tips for conquering procrastination:

1. Write down a specific goal you would like to achieve in the next few days, or six to 12 months, and assign a specific day or date to achieve it. If you want to use a different time frame, go right ahead! All that matters is that your goal inspires you. When you know where you are heading you can develop a workable and motivating plan of action.
2. Write down how you will feel on the day you achieve it. Picture yourself on that day. Where you will be? Who will you be with? What will you be talking about? How will you feel? Imagine the different emotions you will feel once you have achieved what you set out to accomplish.
3. Write down how you will feel about yourself, your career and your life a year from now if you continue to procrastinate. Get really present to the cost of continued inaction. Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes!
4. Break your goal into small action steps. If the whole seems too big to tackle (which it probably will or else you would have done it already!), break it into manageable, bite-size pieces. You don’t have to know every step of the way (particularly if you’ve chosen a wonderfully audacious goal!), you just need to identify the next couple of steps immediately ahead.
5. Time management - Carve out quality time to work on your goals. Time management is about keeping the important things important. Success in business, and in life, takes self-discipline. Self-discipline involves consistently doing what it takes to ensure that your business goals become a reality.
6. Set up a reward system to add a little fun to your journey and help affirm your progress as you go along.
7. Delegate - Do you find yourself procrastinating on chores at home like cleaning and laundry? Maybe paperwork at the office? Delegate them! Cleaning people, laundry services, administrative assistants and more are all available to take some of those boring tasks off your list and free up your time for the stuff you'd rather be doing.
8. Prioritise - Perhaps you're procrastinating on a task because it's really not that important. Maybe you'd love to reorganise your book shelves, but never get around to it. If it sounds like a good idea but in the end it's really not that important to you, don't let it hang over your head.
9. Do at least one thing every day, however seemingly small, that moves you toward your goal. Begin today! Before you come up with another delay tactic!

10. Just do it !!! - Don't think about it too much, just jump in and get it done! Its now 10.10pm and I don’t have to do this tomorrow....

Final thought

Creating change is like getting a 747 off the ground—it consumes plenty of energy up front to build the forward momentum that gets you airborne. So however small the first step may be, just take it. Forward momentum is everything!

More from Simon Boulton:
Are You Sabotaging Your Career?
Hang On To What You Have Got - How To Retain Top Talent
The Anatomy Of A Great Manager - What Great Managers Do Differently

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