Learning Curves: 3. Procrastination (aka: Shooting Yourself in the Foot)

Posted by | Jul 14, 2011

Part Three of a Four Part Series.

3. Procrastination (aka: Shooting Yourself in the Foot)

“Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

“I’ll do it later. I work best under pressure anyway.” OK. Right there. You are about to procrastinate. And procrastination is a goal killer. Procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. Sound familiar?

Setting general goals without specifics leads to procrastination. If we are truly going to reach our goals we must move from general goal intentions (“I need to get some homework done.”) to specific intentions for action (“I am going to read one chapter and answer three questions at six o’clock.”). It is not necessary to think too far ahead or be super ambitious, just aim for some progress. Usually, once you get going a dreaded task is not as bad as we anticipated.

Have a plan ready. Your recipe will look something like: “When X, I do Y and that gets me Z.” When the time comes to take action, you cannot be still in planning mode. Tell yourself exactly when and where to take action. Then when it comes time to act, do it. Stick to your plan, because If you give yourself an ‘out’ once, you will always take it. If your overall plan needs readjustment, do not bail on your commitment mid stream! The time to make changes is at the next planning session.

The simplest and most effective solution to reaching goals is to simply get started. So what are you waiting for?