Now that a new year has begun, many people find themselves ready for a fresh start with a long list of New Year’s Resolutions. I read in an article today that 45% of Americans set New Years Resolutions, but that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed their goal. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one of all may be procrastination.
Procrastination, the habit of putting off, delaying, or deferring an action to a later time can have big consequences. These include missed opportunities, stress filled work hours, guilt, and a loss of time that we cannot get back. After all, “nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task” – Will James.
So why do we do it? For some, it is just a lack of energy. However, others may be truly paralyzed by fear. A fear of failure can keep us from working on a daunting task. But just as gripping can be a fear of success. With success can bring big change which can also seem overwhelming. So instead of facing our fears head on and completing our tasks, we put them off for later. It seems like the path of least resistance.
How can we break free of this cycle? I have found tons of suggestions but here are just a few that you can implement to make your life a little easier.
- Break the task into manageable pieces. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Some action is better then no action. Remember, once time has been wasted you can’t get it back. Get the ball rolling and you will see you pick up momentum.
- Plan out guaranteed “fun time”. If you know you have something rewarding coming for all of your hard work you are more likely to stay focused during your work hours.
- Become a peak performer. Delegate the tasks that you lack the skill to do and become highly efficient to get more work done in less time. By increasing your productivity you will spend less time working, or pretending to work while you put things off, and have more time for family, friends, and other rewarding things. Plus, you will find you feel less stressed while you are at work!
- Pay attention to your diet and exercise routine. This will help you fight the procrastination that naturally comes along with tired and laziness.
- Create a goal board and get inspired. Give yourself motivation to complete the tasks. Reward yourself after you complete tasks. You will associate these great rewards with a sense of accomplishment. You will find your business will benefit as well.
- Give yourself permission to be human. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get done. An imperfect job completed today is always superior to the perfect job delayed indefinitely.
- Implement. The best article in the world won’t help you if you don’t take action!