Achieve Business Success and do not Procrastinate
Are you part of the 26% of Americans that say they procrastinate (and those are only the ones that admitted it)? This article will show you research demonstrating that procrastination is a growing problem for all of us.
Most importantly, it will show you how to reduce procrastination and accomplish those goals you have been putting off want to achieve business success you were meant to be.
University of Calgary professor Piers Steel recently published a study in the American Psychological Bulletin on procrastination. The study showed that 26% of Americans now procrastinate, as opposed to only 5% in 1978.
Thus procrastination is growing and shows no sign of slowing. The study also showed that procrastination makes people poorer, fatter and unhappier.
Dr. Steel states that the growth of procrastination is directly related to the growth of distractions available to use. He points to such things as e-mail, the Internet, big screen TVs, cell phones, video games and so on that did not exist in 1978 but are all pervasive now. Dr. Steel feels it is these distractions that keep us from focusing on our goals to the extent we would like.
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When giving one of my seminars I use this tongue in cheek suggestion to determine if you are procrastinating. When the Post-It note you had your to-do list on has fallen off so many times, it no longer sticks, you are procrastinating. But seriously, my guess is you have a good sense of how much you procrastinate and if you need to be more focused on your priority tasks.
As a Motivational Expert, I am unhappy about the loss of productivity in terms of people’s professional and personal lives. So let’s look at some ways to stop procrastinating and get our lives moving again.
Keying off Dr. Steel’s discovery, the number one method to reduce procrastination is to reduce the distractions around you that are not related to your immediate goal. If you are working on a project, having a cell phone near you might be a great way to get needed input.
On the other hand, taking calls not related to your immediate goal, will take you away, instead of toward your goal. Things such as TVs, video games and other such distractions that have no bearing at all on your goal should be removed from the immediate area or off at the least turned off.
Of course having a list of goals and assigning priorities, plus time budgets to them, is a huge help in reducing procrastination. Knowing what you have to do keeps you focused and less apt to stray from the course.
A great way to avoid procrastination is to keep reminding yourself of the payback you will receive from completing your goal. Visualize yourself completing the project and enjoying the reward you will receive once you accomplish it.
Here’s a tip taken from my book Sixty Seconds To Success that may help you get started. “Act as if. That’s right, act as if. Whatever you want, act as if you already have it. If you’re in a bad mood, act as if you’re in a good mood. Go around smiling, hold your head high, sing, and walk proud.
Within minutes, you’ll find yourself in a good mood. Facing a chore you don’t want to do? Act as if you want to do it and start doing it. Within a few minutes, you’ll be enjoying it.
On a longer-term basis, if you want to achieve a goal, act as if you’ve already achieved it and guess what? You’ll achieve it. That’s the key to getting what you want. Act as if you already have it and it will be yours. ”
Many people find “Eating the biggest frog first” is an effective way to get things done without putting them off. Pick the hardest part of something you need to do and do it first. That way the hardest part is out of the way and you will move through the rest of the project without dreading doing the hard part.
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Taking the opposite approach to doing the hardest part first works better for some people. Theresa A. Smith, Business and Life Coach helps her clients get unstuck by first listing the steps they need to take to complete a task and then to pick one small action they can do without getting involved with the whole task.
Now it’s in their control to complete the action and then choose to move to the next small step and so on. When you find yourself procrastinating ask yourself “what’s one small action I can take that will bring me closer to success?”
Still need a reason to get moving. I send out a free daily email of “The One Minute Motivator”, and post a video version of them on youtube.com and recently in one I said, “How long do you have left to live? If you are a man, you can subtract your current age from 73 and women can use 76.
This will give you the number of years you have to live, based on average life spans. I’ll be that number is smaller than you expected and has you a little concerned now. Good, you should be concerned. We only have 86,400 seconds in a day and they are flying by.
Now is the time to ask yourself if you are using those precious seconds as investments for your long-term happiness. Start now to consider what you really want out of life, and what you need to get there. Then start moving, as the clock is ticking.”
So pick one of your high priority, high payback items you have been putting off, and start to work on it right now. Your life will begin to move ahead and you will obtain the satisfaction of knowing you have moved out of the procrastinator zone and into the “doernator” zone. website.
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Happy and Successful
Interested in being happy and successful in small business, love and life? We can all learn a lesson from an episode of TV’s “Star Trek” that gets in under our radar and teaches us the importance of focusing on the positive.
In one episode of Star Trek the crew lands on a vacation destination planet where they could create any reality they wanted, just by thinking about it.
At first the crew has a great time creating wonderful things, but gradually they become bored and tired and begin to focus on negative things, which creates negative situations for their reality there.
Many of us run our lives the same way, by starting out focusing on the things we want, but then shift our focus shifts to what we don’t want and our lives turns out as badly as the “Star Trek” crew’s in that episode.
So how do you focus on the positive? You need to make a decision to focus on the positive, it doesn’t just happen. As a motivational expert, I stress the importance of having goals to guide your life and “focusing on the positive” should be one of them.
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People attending my seminars are surprised when I tell them to announce to the people they are in contact with that you intend to focus on the positive. My personal experience with this is that the reactions you receive to this will run the gamut from total acceptance to almost outright hostility.
I advise you to not let the reaction of others affect your own thoughts and behavior. By announcing to the world that you intend to focus on the positive, you reinforce your decision to be positive by putting yourself on notice and encouraging other people to give you feedback on how you are doing regarding being positive.
Scientific research can help you take full advantage of a positive focus to make decisions. Research shows that we tend to become happier as we move through the day. Our mood is generally lowest when we wake then peaks at noon, then declines till four in the afternoon, and then begins to build to its highest point of the day around 10 PM.
So use those peak times to make plans, set goals, tackle hard jobs, etc. Make decisions when you are the most upbeat during the day in order to reduce the negatives in your life from pulling you back.
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It also helps to realize that you can only control yourself, you can’t control things like the weather, things that other people do or don’t do, mechanical failures and so on. Focusing only on what you can control takes a lot of pressure off you and leads to greater happiness.
Business and Life Coach Theresa A Smith spends time having her clients become very clear about what they want out of life and then helping them focus heavily on pursuing the steps needed to attain the life they want. She finds knowing what you want out of life and then working towards it is the number one step her clients can take that gives them long lasting happiness.
I publish a free daily email of “The One Minute Motivator” and recently in one I said “
Every day we have a choice. We can choose to focus on negative thoughts that leave us feeling insecure, frightened and cynical or we can choose to focus on positive thoughts that empower us and fill us with a sense of optimism about our world and our role in it.
What type of thoughts we choose to focus on, grow stronger, and the other type will grow weaker. Make the choice to focus on the positive, and you will find it gets easier the longer you do it.”
In my book Sixty Seconds To Success, I make a similar point. “Your focus is your future. You get what you focus on. You can focus on the things that will move you and your projects ahead, or you can focus on things that will not.
Focus brings all your power together and enables you to do things in one area that you couldn’t do without it. Picture yourself achieving your goals, and your chances of achieving them go up dramatically. Believe it and you’ll see it.
What you think about on a daily basis is what your future will be like. Tibetan monks believe that if you want to know your future, look at what you’re doing right now. Everything we do now affects what will happen next and determines if we will be happy and successful.
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Our life’s a chain of now’s and all the things we did in those now’s. Now is what counts and now is what will make your future.”
The two worlds are there for each of us to choose which to live in. Choose the world of your dreams and focus on the positive in your life-it’s as close as your next thought- and before long your dream will be your reality, you will be happy and successful.
As for business success, researchers have determined what will be your worst day of the year and here’s how you can make it your happiest and most successful. This goes for business success as well as personal success.
How would you like to feel happy and hopeful on the one day of the year when people are most likely to be depressed? This article will show you how to be motivated and happy on that day, as well as every other day of the year, business success if closely tied to the happiness factor.
A recent study in England showed these results. Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University psychologist, citing unpaid holiday bills, rotten weather and people’s realization that they likely won’t live up to their New Year’s resolutions, say Jan. 22 is likely to be the unhappiest day of the year.
His equation takes into account six factors: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling a need to take action. Taken together, they calculate to equal “Blue Monday.” in England.
I suspect these findings hold true for most countries around the world and present us with a real opportunity. As a Motivational Expert, I am more concerned with the loss of upside than I am on the downside of how the average person feels during the year.
The fix to the downside issues are fairly straightforward. Things like staying within spending budgets and setting realistic time schedules for activities certainly are a big step forward.
The issue of failing on New Year’s resolutions gets closer to the underlying issue though. New Year’s resolutions are just another word for goals, and goals can be a two-edged sword.
Goals can move your life ahead and give you real satisfaction, but goals can also be a cause of depression. Poorly chosen or implemented goals can do more harm than good.
One thing I stress in my seminars is that properly set and pursued goals are the key to a happy and successful life. If you know where you want to go and get there, life is good. Life is even good if you know where you want to go but aren’t there yet, but can see progress as you have hope.
Here is a quote from my book Sixty Seconds To Success that speaks to the point. “Here’s something that definitely works: getting definite about your plans. If you lay out what you want to accomplish in specific terms, it has a greater chance of happening than if you just have some vague ideas floating around in your head. Take your vacation, for example.
Chances are pretty good that you ended up when and where you wanted to be on vacation. Chances are also pretty good that you spent some time going over brochures, looking at costs, checking calendars, etc., to get most of the details worked out.
The rest of your life’s no different. Any business or personal plans that you give the same amount of effort to will probably happen. Imagine, you can really have what you want; you just have to plan for it.
It’s true, if you focus on what you want and get specific about how you can make it happen, you’ll probably get it. So if you definitely want to accomplish something, get definite about it.”
So how do we set and attain goals that will make us happy? First, we start by deciding what we want as a goal and only you can do that. Goals given to us by others rarely make us happy.
Invest all the time needed to come up with goals for you personal and professional life, that when attained, will truly make you happy. One of the tragedies of life is that some people become successful and then discover that the success is not what really makes them happy.
Next begin to lay out a plan to attain the goal. What money, activities, and time are required to attain the goal? What skills or experience is needed? Who will do what and when?
Then lay out a system to monitor results. Know when you are on track or off track so you can adjust your plan or activates accordingly.
I publish a free daily email of The One Minute Motivator and also post a video version on youtube.com and recently said this “Make one small change that moves you toward your goal, now.
Small changes lead to big changes, they build your confidence, and they give you feedback you are on the right track. Don’t hold off making a change until you are ready to make that really big change.
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That time will never come. Start now and put a series of small changes together and before long, you will be where you want to be, and hardly realize you did it.”
Business and Life Coach Theresa A. Smith says, “Think about goals as the GPS coordinates to your happiness and success. Like the GPS coordinates, your goal coordinates need to be specifically articulated. What specifically do you want to achieve? How will you know you’ve reached the goal? What are your anticipated results? When will you arrive at your destination? I ask clients to clarify their top life values and to align or honor those values within their goals.
A goal that does not honor your values will not get the results you want in the long run. You may find yourself taking a detour and checking out the back roads. Perhaps the new views will help you think about whether the goal you set is really what you want.”
So regardless of what day it is, live it as if it is your last. We can’t choose how or when we will die, but we can choose how and when we will live. Living is a choice; you can be alive, but not ALIVE.
There is no guarantee that things will go exactly like you want them to go if you choose to be ALIVE, but if you decide to take the safe road, you will live an existence of boredom and regret, as opposed to savoring the memory that you decided to live life and did it your way. Try to tie this to your business success.
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