DTNT: Do The Next Thing (a procrastination remedy)
I don’t know about you but procrastination has to be one of the most frustrating behavior traits.
Think about it, you go to bed determined to wake up early and exercise. Only to find yourself hitting the snooze button multiple times leaving you only a few minutes to spare frantically brushing your teeth and throwing on something clean (at least you hope so).
Or, you promise yourself that you will write that boring report or answer emails taunting you from your mile-long-inbox. Only to find yourself surfing on-line sales or grabbing a mid-day snack. (These may or may not be personal examples)
I love this quote, “procrastination is like a credit card, lots of fun until you get the bill.” It feels good to avoid dreaded tasks until the task becomes so large, so big that they feel impossible.
Years go by and the accomplishments you wanted to achieve feel like a distant memory residing in the land of ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda.”
So, what’s a normal, average person to do? We don’t have endless resources or assistants making life easier. We only have ourselves and the million things to do and those few things that we really want to do, those passions and desires of our heart.
I think I may have a solution.
DTNT: Do the next thing.
Do you want to run a marathon? Start by running a mile.
Do you want to go back to school? Enroll in a class.
Determine your end goal, then, like a maze work backward.
Procrastination is the graveyard of your dreams.
Often, I hear clients and friends talk about how lazy they are. They blame their procrastination on a lack of willpower. Typically, I counter back and challenge them. Most people aren’t lazy. Instead, they are gripped with fear. This fear paralyzes and cripples. In my opinion, this is what produces most peoples procrastination. It’s not laziness, it’s fear.
Perfectionism and unrealistic expectations produce procrastination. Replace unrealistic expectations and all-or-nothing thinking, with small goals. Once you start marking things off your list and achieving success, you begin feeling more confident and motivated. I recently went to a conference, the presenter said, “motivation is the connection to a past memory.” When you know you can do something, you are so much more likely to finish tasks and not procrastinate.
Today, however small or seemingly insignificant do the next thing.
Blessings to you,