Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not.”
All of us at times are guilty of procrastination. We put things off, and delay the inevitable. The word procrastinate actually means to move something forward to another day.
It reminds me of a story about a WWII veteran. He was looking in his attic one day and saw his old army duffle bag. He opened it up and decided to put on his uniform. The uniform was a little tighter than it once was but he looked in the mirror and remembered the feeling of being a soldier out on the battlefield.
When he reached in his pocket he felt something and he pulled out a claim ticket. It was for a pair of shoes that he dropped off to be fixed years ago. The shoe repair store was still in business, so he decided to go and see, if by chance, they still had his shoes.
The owners Son now ran the store and looked at the claim ticket puzzled. “I’ll go and take a look in the back, but this was a really long time ago.” He told the Army Vet.
After a few minutes the man returned and said, “You won’t believe this but I found your shoes!”
“They will be ready for you on Wednesday.” ☺
A mentor of mine is fond of saying, “The word that is synonymous with wealth is urgency.” And for each of us to be more productive, efficient, effective and successful we need to overcome the nasty habit of procrastination.
So why do we procrastinate? There are many reasons:
• A perception that a task is unpleasant or overwhelming
• Fear of the Unknown
• Fear of Change
• Fear of Failure
But regardless of the reason, the outcome is always the same. Deadlines are not met, stresses are raised, guilt sets in and it makes us look bad to others.
Most importantly, we usually procrastinate the things that are most important and make us the most money.
• Making Salse Calls
• Preparing For Important Meetings or Presentations
• Having Tough Conversations
We allow the unimportant to get in the way of the important. Instead of making sales calls, we take out the trash and organize our office. When we are supposed to be preparing our presentation, we surf the internet or look at cool power point designs.
Yes, procrastination gets us all at times.
But I believe urgency is synonymous with wealth because wealthy people are productive. They are organized, efficient and willing to do the uncomfortable to create comfort.
So what is the remedy?
Here are a few ideas;
• If we feel overwhelmed, instead of being paralyzed break it down into actionable steps. Make one big project into 10 small projects and get to work.
• If we are afraid of being uncomfortable (making sales calls for example) then set up a reward that motivates you. If I make 10 calls, I get a piece of my favorite cake.
• If we are constantly putting things off and not following through then set up accountability with someone who will call you on it and keep you on track.
Feel free to share your ideas on how you overcome procrastination. Lets all learn together.