When you procrastinate, you’re failing twice: once when you put off what you know you should be doing, and again when you look back with regret on your failure to act. Ouch!
Why Do We Procrastinate?
Leaving Your Comfort Zone
When I do it, I find there are usually 2 things involved: the first is that the thing I have to do is outside of my comfort zone. Here are a few examples:
- the call I have to make
- the appointment I need to set
- the prospecting plan I have to write
Either I’m not good at it or I fear the outcome.
Fear of Failure
The second thing is that the thing I have to do is important: it will move me toward a goal, like making a big sale. I desperately don’t want to fail, and until I’ve actually taken action, I can tell myself I haven’t failed.
But I’m lying to myself to say I haven’t failed yet if I haven’t done the thing I’m avoiding. As soon as I procrastinate, I have failed - failed to take action, failed to take control, failed to move toward my goals.
Later, when the moment of opportunity has passed, I look back with regret that I chose not to act, and I fail again emotionally. I get down on myself, only making it more likely that I’ll procrastinate again.
How do you Break out of this Cycle of Procrastination?
Here’s how: pick 2 things this week that are important to you, but you don’t really want to do.
Block out time on your calendar, just like an appointment with an important person, and at the appointed time, drop all distractions and DO IT!
Commit to yourself by putting on your calendar. Hold yourself accountable to yourself.
At the end of the week, reflect on your success, and write down what you did and how you feel about it in your journal.
This part is critical.
As you repeat this week after week, your brain will make the connection between acting outside your comfort zone and that awesome feeling of success, and before you know it, you’ll have broken the habit of procrastination, a habit of failure.
You’ll have a new habit... a habit for success.