Just two months to go in 2017! – It Is Time to Act!
There are 60 days remaining until the end of the year. Wouldn’t it feel good to know that your actions in these last days of 2017 are purposeful and aligned towards your goals and aspirations? Remember, there is going to be only one 2017. Whatever is not done this year cannot be done in another 2017. So why not take the necessary actions to progress and move forward? Do you know that when you procrastinate, you sabotage yourself? Procrastination is an extremely harmful behaviour: on a short-term basis, disruptive, and on a long-term basis, destructive.
To put us in the right frame of mind to take the necessary actions to progress and move forward, we would like share with you some key points and strategies to tackle the malaise of PROSCRATINATION.
Procrastination and What You Can Do to Overcome It?
Procrastinating is a behaviour, which is triggered; from that trigger, you then step into procrastination. So, what if, there was something you could do, so that you would not even go there? Thus, not having to apply steps to overcome procrastination? It is about focusing on what comes first, and, there is no controversy, as in which came first the chicken or the egg here! Procrastination comes second, so, let’s focus on that first behaviour, that way, you apply a series of strategies at that moment, and stop procrastination before it even starts.
The key to avoid procrastination is to focus on the why you are not acting. By focusing on the why immediately, that is, as soon as you recognise the behaviour, you shift your focus onto the root cause, which lets you not only understand it but also, enables you to tackle it head-on by applying the relevant strategies. There are 2 steps to that key, and these work hand in hand: identify the lack of action (it sounds simple and yet, because it is often ignored, it leads to procrastination), and ask yourself: why am I not acting? (you might have to ask yourself several times). When you have your reason, you can then move forward – can you see how you are then taking control of this, and avoiding procrastination?
The reason gives you the clues you need to act. There are many reasons why people don’t act, and this will not be an exhaustive list. Yet, we can, according to Frederique Murphy’s 8 strategies to take action now, highlight 4 of the most common reasons – these are the ones that tend to come up, again and again, CONFUSION; OVERWHELM; PERFECTIONISM; and FEAR. For each of these reasons, he offers two strategies to help you act and move forward.
If you are not acting because you are confused…
Confusion is caused by a lack of clarity. And, I’ve written about the importance of clarity before; it is even one of the core mindset ABCs. Simply put, it is hard to act upon something when we are not sure of what that something is. Here are two strategies to tackle this:
- Take a pen and paper, and write things down; write everything that you can think of, it is a called a brain dump. You need to get it all out of your head and capture it.
- Answer a specific series of questions that will lead you to further clarity; you can either do it on your own, or with the help of a coach, a mentor, a colleague, a supportive friend.
If you are not acting because you are overwhelmed…
Overwhelm is caused by a huge volume of disorganised information. Interesting fact, it often follows the confusion state. What happens is that you know what to do, but because it is so big, it freezes you. Here are two strategies to tackle this:
- Take your clarity list, write each of the items on individual notes (ideally, sticky notes), and then sort these around by ordering, planning, picking that FIRST action, and starting.
- Review your action list, and strike-out the items you can eliminate, the ones that are not aligned with your goals (you’d be surprised!), and the items you can delegate.
If you are not acting because you are a perfectionist…
Perfectionism can be beneficial, when (and only then) you are able to stop yourself and see when it becomes a roadblock to your dreams. It is important to look inwards and accept that this is something that you do, so that you can take control over it. Here are two strategies to tackle this:
- Set a clear and defined milestone to everything that you do; these due dates will act as deadlines to all your activities, plans, projects…
- Create an added accountability by sharing your plans (and dates!) with someone else: a coach, a mentor, a colleague, a supportive friend, so that they know when your project is due.
If you are not acting because you are scared…
Fear is often encountered when you are aiming towards reaching new heights, reaching that next level. It is completely natural, and the most important thing you can do when you question your every move is to just keep moving forward. Here are two strategies to tackle this:
- Make yourself more uncomfortable than you are scared by listing the consequences of you not taking actions; ask yourself: how does my lack of actions impacts me (and others)?
- Increase your excitement of what is to come by describing in detail (visuals, sounds, feelings) the accomplished goal.
So, there you have it: 1 key and 8 easily applicable strategies. It is now up to you to apply these when you are confused, overwhelmed, star-struck by perfection, or scared. Remember, tackle the why immediately; that way, you do not even have to step into the harmful procrastination loop.
Where you are today is the direct reflection of the thoughts, the decisions, and the actions you took days, months and years ago which means that where you will be tomorrow will be a direct reflection of the thoughts, the decisions, and the actions you are about to take. Make it happen!
According to William Pollard, “Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit”. We know this. That’s why we have gone the extra length to gather, process and present to you in a format you can act on, all upcoming training, seminars, courses, conferences and other learning opportunities for the month of November in our November Training Insider.
We hope you will find this article useful and helpful towards the achievement of your set goals and objectives.
See you at the other side of sucess!