The problem with doing something tomorrow is that when tomorrow comes it’s today. Then what will you do… push it to the tried and true tomorrow again?
How many tomorrows does it take for tomorrow to become the day you actually take action? There are probably many people who can’t answer that question because they don’t know how many tomorrows it will take. They don’t know because they haven’t taken action yet. They are still counting tomorrows.
Successful people will miss few opportunities today. Less than successful people will miss many opportunities tomorrow.
For the record, someday, the perfect day, and the right day are just as bad as tomorrow. Today is the only someday for successful people. You can make today the perfect day, you can decide today is the right day. Yesterday’s tomorrow is today.
You are out of excuses.
You may not realize it but all that stuff you “plan” to do tomorrow weighs you down. It is a drag on today’s productivity. Each day you delay taking action on “tomorrow’s stuff” the weight becomes heavier and the drag greater.
Here’s an idea: if something takes less than a minute to do then do it immediately. Do it right this second. You’ll be surprised how many things you put off that could be done in less than a minute.
Most of the things we put off are not delayed due to a lack of time. We put them off because we don’t like doing them or they make us uncomfortable. We use time as an excuse.
You should know that one of the biggest differentiators between successful people and less successful people is that successful people have developed the habits of doing the things that less successful people simply don’t like to do.
Success is far more about possessing the discipline required to take action than it is about anything else. You can be the smartest person on earth but if you don’t use your brains what does it matter. Lack of initiative kills far more opportunities than lack of money.
Do you have the discipline required to invest a handful of minutes a day to stop putting off those things you don’t want to do? Even the ones you know would make a positive difference for you?
When you start doing the things that require less than a minute pretty soon you’ll have enough momentum built up to tackle longer and tougher tasks. Before you know it, nothing can stop you.
So what do you say? Got a minute to succeed?
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.
There are many factors that come into play when determining a person’s potential for success. Those factors vary depending upon the type of endeavor the person is trying to succeed at. There are some commonalities across all fields of endeavor but each one has their own set of unique requirements.
There is however one sure way to greatly limit your chance at success. It makes no difference what your trying to succeed at, this one thing will almost certainly limit your chances at success if not outright kill them.
This one thing is called procrastination.
Procrastination prevents even the most accomplished people from reaching their potential. It is simply amazing how quickly, and consistently procrastinating will kill your chances for success.
Research shows that a leading cause of procrastination is a lack of passion. It’s pretty simple really, we do the things we like to do and look for reasons to put off those things we don’t like doing.
The research shows that people who make decisions and take action quickly are more successful and wealthier than people who procrastinate. There are very very few exceptions where a chronic procrastinator has been able to overcome that handicap and still have huge success. Those exceptions in fact are so rare that it’s safe to say that procrastination not just might, but absolutely WILL damage your chances for success.
Procrastination limits every area of a person’s life, from business relationships to personal relationships. It limits the trust that other people will put in you and even limits the trust you’ll have for yourself.
Every person hears the beckoning call of procrastination but highly successful people have learned to drown out the noise through planning and hard work.
One tool many people use to try and overcome their propensity to procrastinate is a to-do list. I’ve tried that but a simply to-do list is no match for my procrastination abilities. So I use a Prioritized Daily Task List. This is a to-do list on steroids. I rank everything I want to get done on a particular day by order of it’s importance. I do not allow myself to move from my highest ranked task to a lower ranked task until the higher ranked one is completed. That requires discipline.
Discipline, for those of you who believe you don’t have any, comes from wanting something in the future more than the something you want today. To develop discipline you simply have to identify what those things are that you want in the future. When you keep those things in the top of your mind it becomes much easier to have discipline.
I have one other “rule” I use to overcome procrastination. It’s my 30 second rule. It too is pretty simple, if something takes less than 30 seconds to do then do it NOW. You’ll be surprised how many of the things you put off actually take less than 30 seconds, it just seems like they take forever because you endlessly put them off.
Those 30 seconds can be the difference between your success and settling for less than you want and deserve. You probably won’t like this but here is a fact: if you can’t find 30 seconds in your day to accomplish something important then you can’t succeed. You probably don’t deserve to either.
The truest of all the secrets to success is to stop procrastinating. Don’t stop tomorrow, stop today and understand that anything else you can do today should be done today.
“Do it today” is the mantra of all truly successful people! So, what are you doing today?