People become stuck in a lifestyle of procrastination because they believe their own excuses for not taking action. Procrastination is the main reason that people fail to live richer and more fulfilling lives. If you are stuck in a rut of continual procrastination, make up your mind to stop making excuses.
If you have been making excuses for putting things off, here is how to take charge of your life. First, make a list of all the things you have been postponing - at work, at home, in your personal relationships, or for your personal development.
Now choose one thing on that list that you can do something about today. Write down every excuse you have given yourself for not having done anything about it yet. Ask yourself if you have considered all the consequences of your procrastination in this area. Do you want to live with them? Do you have a legitimate reason for postponing this job?
You have to be honest about this or it will not work. Forget about what other people think; look in the mirror and ask the hard questions. If you have a legitimate reason for delaying action in this area, move on to another item on the list. Find something that you can make happen today, simply by deciding to make it happen. Now do it. When you have completed this task successfully, your satisfaction will motivate you to repeat this process with another item on your list.
Successful people know that their accomplishments depend on two things: taking action and staying focused on their goals. People who are successful in any business or profession have an ability to make things happen. All successful people win the war against procrastination because they develop certain traits. To defeat procrastination and get all you want out of life, you must:
- Know what you want.
- Force yourself to take action.
- Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Stop making excuses!
Now go back to your list and choose another project. Write down every excuse you have been giving yourself for not getting started, or for leaving it unfinished. Put as many things on the list as you can think of. Now try to eliminate one excuse at a time. Ask yourself hard questions:
- Why do I have to postpone this project?
- Is it necessary to go on postponing it?
- If Bill Gates were in my situation, would he postpone it?
- What will happen if I keep putting this off?
- If I keep putting this off, when will I get it done?
- Can I get started on it now?
- What part of the job could I complete now?
- If I postpone this job now, what other job will I tackle to make better use of my time?
As you eliminate your excuses, think of what you can do today to make this project happen, and do it. Anne Frank wrote in her diary, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Make a decision to start improving your world today.
"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin."
- Ivan Turgenev
© Antonia Stuart-James 2007