A bit of context for this:
I originally wrote this as response in a Facebook group. The original poster was looking for “tips” on beating procrastination and improving performance. What follows is what I suggested. It a very stream of consciousnesses thing.
It should be noted, that I too am very human and suffer through bouts of procrastination. This has helped me. YMMV
1. Start with “WHY”
“Getting things done” is pointless unless you know why you are getting things done. So many focus on the minutia of daily tasks & checklist but yet never work on anything that really matters to them. Many people want to “Make a difference”. It’s nice, but very un-specific. Get specific for yourself. No specificity = absolute failure. A better statetment would be:
I want to do X for Y so that Z
Probably the most important party of that statement is “so that Z” . What is that “so that” for you?
You also gotta dig deep for your real intrinsic motivation. For some this is easy, for me I have to really peel the onion.
2. Be clear & focused on what YOU WANT and DO THAT
Many people are just doing things because that is what their parents, friends, etc… want them to do, told them to do, expect them to do. When you take away all those expectations and external agendas, you should be left with what you want. Not just the nice stuff you tell people and the lies you tell yourself. (and yes we lie to ourselves constantly).Like #1 above , this is onion peeling time again. It may take effort to be really clear on your real “what” once the clutter in your head dies down. You can either figure this out in 1 minute or 1 year. It’s up to you.
I find easier to just do something, anything and be in action. Until I realize that it is not what I want to do. You can sit around all day trying figure out what you want to do and not get anything done. Get started doing.
3. Block your time for focused work. No if’s, and’s or but’s
Eliminate any distraction that does not get you to #1 or #2 during these times. Schedule time for the distractions (i.e. Facebook) and when that time is up, get back to work. Some will whine … yes whine… that “this is hard”… I call bullshit on that. Just admit “I don’t wanna” and do the work anyway. Or, admit you will never accomplish what you say you are gonna do. The get back to work. But stop whining. No one cares. We have our own whining to deal with. Do the work that matters. Stop reading this, close Facebook, twitter, turn off the TV, whatever and get to work
4. Take care of number 1
Eat well, get plenty of rest, hydrate, exercise, take down time, play. It’s not rocket science but we all forget to take care of ourselves at some point or another. You are no good to anyone if you don’t do this.
5. Get a mentor
Find someone that has done what you want to do. Manny’s Rule of thumb “Don’t ask a fat man for health advice, don’t ask poor man for financial advice”
6. Don’t have a mentor, get a coach
I like coaches that are “specific”. I want to swim, I get a swim coach, etc… I have nothing against “life coaches” or “business coaches” except that it is too broad a term. The best coaches I’ve had, gave me specific input. “Do this, don’t do that”. No fluff. They could have cared less about my day. They only cared about the result I produced. I also listened to what they said and ONLY did that. If it worked I did that again. If it didn’t we adjusted. I do the same with mentors
7. Be accountable
I can’t begin to tell you how much this works for me. Tell someone that you are doing something. Their job is on say to you ( on a regular schedule. Daily if need be);
You said you were gonna do X, is it done? Why not? Actually, I don’t care why not! When are you gonna get it done? Now go do it!
8. Don’t do anything you don’t like to do and don’t work people you don’t want to work with.
This harkens back to #2. If you are worried about money, you don’t have a good #1
9. Like Bob said “Stop it!”
Stop worrying about what has happened and your past. That thing that happened has either defined your life ( and IT owns you) Or it has informed your life ( YOU own it). Don’t let the past own you and define who you are in this moment. You can either live in the past and with circumstances or you define your present mindset & future outcome. You can’t do both at the same time.
Challenge Time! :
If you want to write a book, by tomorrow this time write 2000 words of your 1st book. If you did this everyday, you would have a book written in a month.
Want to record a song? Get a crappy cassette recorder and record a song.
Set a goal to meet today. Not later, not tomorrow. Now, today!
Total time allowed: 2 hours
As a side note; The original FB post consisted of 653 words. I wrote that in the dark, hunched over a keyboard I could not see in under 15 minutes. This is 923 words written in under 30 (including formatting, getting you tube links, etc…)
What will you create?