Since we have begun a new year (2018) with new possibilities for us, shouldn’t we address procrastination⎯or perhaps we should consider this a little later. What do you think?

No, let’s do it now! Conquering procrastination is a critical time management skill. Most people suffer from some degree of procrastination while others are paralyzed by it. It’s easier to procrastinate and get a cup of coffee than make a cold call. It’s easier to straighten up the paperclips in your desk drawer than to write a proposal for a customer. It’s easier to go to an office supply store than to discipline an employee.

We didn’t learn to procrastinate overnight. Rather, we conditioned ourselves to respond to our environment by procrastinating. Procrastination has a binary quality. Either we do it or we don’t. When we take back control of our time and our life, we must be bold! Bury procrastination before it buries us!

Here are five ways to control procrastination:

1. Commit to solving the problem.

Unless you are fully committed, you won’t stop procrastinating. You cannot be partially committed. It’s all or nothing!

2. Consider the cost of procrastinating.

What are the strategic, big picture consequences of procrastinating? Think about one thing (something that you could be, do, or have) that if you did, would significantly change the course of your life. For example, perhaps you want to become a published author. Now fill in your answer at the end of the sentence below:

PROCRASTINATION is a thief that robs the best of …

In our example you would have, “Procrastination is a thief that robs the best of authors.” How does that answer make you feel concerning your specific dream?

3. Take back control!

What do you intend to do to take back control of your time so you can do what is crucial to you? Unless you get angry at what is stealing your destiny, you’ll not be committed enough to put procrastination in its rightful place—the trash bin of behaviors you’ll no longer practice.

4. Identify compelling reasons for not procrastinating.

What’s the payoff for you? Can you identify 10, 20, or even 50 specific reasons why you must take back control? If you are unable to come up with many reasons for not procrastinating, you are not genuinely dedicated to changing.

“Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden

5. Develop a “Do it NOW!” attitude.

Admiral Mike Mullen was an exceptional leader. His watchword was “Do it now!” “Do it now” creates a sense of urgency that pervades the fabric of a business’ corporate culture. Without this reflex, neither leadership nor courage can function effectively.

Next time we will discuss some additional ways to conquer procrastination.

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