I’ve known many a procrastinator through the years (myself included) but I’ve known few people who were procrastinators by choice. They were all mostly procrastinators by chance.
Most procrastinators have more to do than they know how. They almost get paralyzed trying to figure out where to begin and the result is often that they just don’t…begin that is. They just don’t begin. They don’t get much finished because they don’t get much started.
This much is certain, you will never finish what you never begin.
So the first step to overcoming procrastination is to simply begin. But the question remains; where to begin.
Here is one piece of advice I received years ago that has really helped me overcome my procrastination tendencies: If you have something to do, anything to do, and it takes 30 seconds or less to do it then do it now, RIGHT NOW.
Now the best procrastinators out there will tell you that you can’t get anything done in 30 seconds or less. They would be wrong about that.
30 seconds is actually quite a long time.
In 30 seconds you can make a prioritized task list of the things you must accomplish today in order to be productive. Then you’ll know exactly where to begin.
In 30 seconds you can answer an email. If you don’t believe that then time yourself when answering a few. You’ll find that most, the vast majority in fact, take less than 30 seconds. Most people read the same email several times before finally answering it. That’s called procrastination and it’s a waste of time.
In 30 seconds you can delete about 60 emails from last year that you never did get around to answering.
You can respond to several text messages or send one to someone, like mom or dad, that you’ve been meaning to send for a while.
In 30 seconds you can set a meaningful goal.
In 30 seconds you can pay a bill online.
In 30 seconds you can say thank you to someone you’ve intended to thank for days.
In 30 seconds you could pay someone a sincere compliment.
In 30 seconds you could make a decision that changes your entire life.
You can do a lot in 30 seconds if you choose to be productive instead of busy and overwhelmed.
It should take you substantially less than 30 seconds to decide which one will lead you towards greater success.
6 thoughts on “30 Seconds to Success”
That’s a great list of things that can be done in 30 seconds. One rule of thumb I’ve always used is that if writing it on my to-do list takes longer than doing it, I just do it now. Also, anybody who has emails from last year is a bigger procrastinator than I am. 🙂
(I wrote this comment in under 30 seconds.)
Thanks Michael, I was tempted to reply later but since it taking less than 30 seconds….😉
Great list and perspective, a lot of times it does simply take realizing how quickly you can get something — ANYTHING — done. After that you can start rolling and build momentum for the rest of your tasks. Good read!
Thanks, you are absolutely correct, so many thinks that we put off can be done in 30 seconds or less. And yet we put them off until they pile up and we really are buried.
Look at the irony; only yesterday I took a decision that will change my life and it took me way less than thirty seconds.
It shook me up from the inside, like all important decisions do, but it was a good feeling.
Good for you!