Today: I think l will do it tomorrow
Tomorrow: I don’t think l am ready, maybe next month
Next month: This is not my year. I will have a go at it next year
Unknowingly as human beings we suffer from diseases. Diseases that we never seek treatment for; diseases that are deadly than some of the well know pandemics in the world. Unknowingly we carry theses ills, which later manifest themselves in our lives and become the root cause of all our failures, of our downfall and ultimately, of our death. One such disease is termed ‘procrastination.’ The dictionary definition of this term is put as ‘the action of delaying or postponing something.’ Clearly that is a problem. Here are four simple ways to deal with this problem.
- Set goals that are measurable
The human body is by default designed to work best when there is a target or an event to look forward to. A sense of reward is created every time this target is met or achieved and thus this same system can be applied in our day to day lives in order to fight this animal we call procrastination. As the year begins, or at the beginning of the month, week or at any given time, one must be able to plan for the future, long term or short term; by setting goals or targets that will act as a focal point or desired destination as one navigates through life. These goals must be time measurable and achievable. One resource that we have in short supply is time and therefore when used wisely, time can be the one thing which separates great man and failures. When a goal is set, it has to be time-bound, with a start and finish date. If the goal is a big goal, for example becoming the owner of a multi-national retail store, it is advisable that you break it down into parts, into small goals that will keep you going until you reach your ultimate goal.
Setting a time frame for which a certain goal must be achieved brings into the picture the aspect of good time management and constant review, to see how far one has progressed in their desire to achieve that goal. Procrastination usually creeps in when ones vision or goal is not clearly defined from the onset. It is very easy to hide behind books that are scattered all over the floor than to hide behind a stack of books neatly arranged on a shelf. Goal setting brings order and the path ahead is clear, leaving little or no room for the mind to procrastinate or go into ‘lazy mode.’ One misconception that people have about goals is that they think they are written on stone. Goals can be changed midway; goals can be revised and goals can abandoned totally if they no longer take us to the desired destination. The act of doing this is not paramount to failure but every prudent man takes time to do an analysis of the goals they have set and if they still fit into the overall story of their life.
- Breakdown work in order of importance
After goals have been set, one has to plan how they will work towards achieving those goals. In a given day, an individual can have a multiple number of things to do, some which may not fit into the 24 hours that are allocated in a single day. It is therefore important to plan for the day ahead by breaking down the work that has to be done in order of importance. Sometimes we spend most of our time doing things that do not aid us in our quest to achieve our goals, that we end up with little or no time for those goal defining tasks. As the common saying goes, ‘all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ Others have gone on to say work hard, play hard but really the underlying fact is that there must be time for work and time for pleasure and that is only possible if one can set a demarcation between important activities and secondary activities. Life is to be lived fully so that one has no regrets and that is only possible if one strikes a balance of the different activities that make up life.
- Use productivity apps or a timetable
It usually helps if the plans one has set are tabled down whether in a timetable or by using a productivity app with can now be easily downloaded either from your Google Playstore or iTunes store. This helps one keep track of the next step or activity and allows one to go through the day in an orderly manner. At the end of the day, one can revisit his or her timetable just check what has been done and what is outstanding so that the following day has a starting point. Such small things actually act as motivators and keep us on track to achieving our set goals. The probability of success in one’s life is partially determined by how they go through life and how motivated they are to face each new day.
- Be accountable and responsible
At the end of a given defined period, one must be able to sit down and account for the time spent and how it was spent. Since the set goals were measurable, one can also assess their progress and how they performed. This self-review will determine how one has performed and can also set the tone for the next goal or path to be taken. All our actions on earth come with a level or responsibility which we must be prepared to shoulder and live with. Always know that failure is just a bus stop on the road to success and not the final destination. Just as there are potholes and tollgates on any journey, so will there be on your road to success. It is not a question of whether or not you meet these speed humps, but how you react when you do.
Success usually favours the brave and l hope these four simple ways will help you fight procrastination and achieve the desires of your heart.
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