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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