Have you ever experienced this? You are so tired and worn out after a long workday that some of your primary body functions have temporarily shut down.You are not able to think, speak or walk properly. Heck, let`s be honest. If your mother watched you limping towards the bathroom to brush your teeth, she would seriously be wondering about if she had given birth to a Quasimodo (hunchback).
The Problem? Even though you are putting in more hours at work, you somehow can`t seem to catch up. Your never-ending growing to do list is not the real problem. The real problem is what lurks behind it – the big and dreadful procrastination beast, which is growing more each day.
You feel that you are awfully close to the breaking-point…where you either will be drowned by your to do list or eaten alive by the procrastination beast. Can you relate? If so, it`s okay. I`ve been there too…Relax. Breathe. There is still hope.
Here’s the 10 Simple Steps To Be Productive And Kill The Procrastination Beast:
1. Setting a correct goal
It`s important that you have clarity, so you will be able to set a correct goal. Something that might be worse than failing to reach a correct goal, is to actually reach a wrong goal. Let`s say that you were going to learn to play ice hockey. That was your ultimate goal, and you knew that it was the path you wanted to take.
A good first step would for instance be learning how to skate. Instead of aiming for that goal, you somehow, don’t ask me why, found out you wanted to learn how to run faster. Even though, learning how to run faster might be a cool goal to reach, it will bring you nowhere closer to learning how to skate. You get the point.
Then over to one of the most underestimated steps…
2. Your BIG why
This will actually be the real make it or break it factor. It`s within our human nature to resist going out of our comfort zone. Why? Because we think it`s uncomfortable.
If your ´why´ is not big enough, you won`t be able to fend off the excuses when you have to push yourself doing the necessary tasks, whether you feel like it or not. The bigger your why, the greater your chance of actually sticking to plan and reaching your goal.
You should have a burning desire, which will make you unstoppable on your way to your goal. Have you found your real why?
Good, let`s move on.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
Knowing how to reach your goal is crucial. If you don`t know how, then you could do research and google the topic. A good tip is to find someone who has already accomplished what you want to accomplish, and replicate the method. It can either be finding a mentor or just paying an expert to show you the way.
In the end you basically need to find out how to reach your big hairy goal, and then break it down into smaller manageable steps.
We got the how covered, then over to the…
It`s essential that you set a deadline for your big hairy goal, and for your smaller goals. A deadline will make you push yourself out of the comfort zone in order to get cranking. And the most important thing?
If you set a deadline, you MUST do whatever is in your power to actually meet that deadline. If not, you are conditioning your mind to expect to fail the deadlines you set. The worst part? Setting a deadline will lose it`s effect. So how do we keep track of all the activities? Let`s answer that in the next step.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” – Harvey McKay
5. The master to do list
You should have a master to do list. What does that mean? It means that you should have only ONE to do list, which contains all the tasks that need to be done.
When I was working for one of the biggest companies in Norway, some of the people who were perceived as the most valuable and productive employees by the company had several to do lists. I asked them two simple questions: how many to do lists they had and if they had full control of all their to do tasks.
The answers were always the same, they were never 100% sure how many lists they actually had nor if they had full control of all the tasks. If you don`t know how many to do lists you actually have, you certainly don`t have full control of all your to do tasks.
How many to do lists should you have? If you answered one, a high five to you.
They say that when it comes to a fight, there is strength in numbers. That is also the case when it comes to reaching our goal. And let`s face it, you are really preparing for a fight against the procrastination beast.
When you have mapped out the necessary tasks in order to reach your goal, sticking to the plan can be hard.
That is why it can be a good idea to share your goal with people you trust, and which you know will support you. If your goal was to start with mixed martial arts and to compete in the UFC, your mother would probably not be the biggest supporter. And it`s understandable. Who wants to see their child being beaten into a pulp?
It is important to actually pick the right supporters. Nothing is worse than having people who don`t really support you, being a part of your cheerleading crew. That negative person might poison and demotivate the rest of the cheerleading crew, and last but not least, you.
The next point is also very important. By mastering that skill, you can truly become unstoppable.
7. Laser focus
They say that the person who has the ability to focus on only one single thought for 2 minutes straight, will have the ability to accomplish anything. You want to be that person, right? It`s okay. Just start practicing.
So the real key to focusing is really to remove ALL distractions.
A crash course on how to laser focus:
- Mute or turn off your cellphone. If it`s muted, put it away and don`t look at it until you are finished completing your task at hand.
- Turn-off the Internet connection. You think that you are doing research by googling stuff, but what you are really doing, is ruining your own focus.
- Let people around you know that you are busy, so you won`t get interrupted
The next step might be the hardest part…
Self-discipline is about doing the necessary tasks no matter what, whether your feel like or not. You have to brainwash yourself. You have to put your feelings aside, program your mind and become an unstoppable machine.
The good news? It will become a little bit easier, the more you practice it. However, be prepared that it will be a constant battle. Do you want to know a little secret? By learning the skill of self-discipline it will become a catalyst for all other activities you need to do in order to stop procrastinating and become more productive.
Kop Kopmeyer wrote about 1000 success principles (4 books). At the end of the last book he wrote that the most important principle for success is self-discipline, without that none of the other principles will work. Yeah, you know the importance of self-discipline by now.
Then it`s time to…
9. Grow some courage
In order to achieve your goals and get the success you dream of in your life and business, you need to be able to move out of the comfort zone. You need to stop worrying about what everyone else will think about you. It`s scary, right? Yeah, I know.
What if you make a fool out of yourself and what if people will be talking about you? You have probably heard the cliché “It`s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.” It`s a cliché, we can all agree on that, nevertheless, it`s still true.
I will let you in on one more secret. People will be talking about you no matter what. Whatever you do, you can`t stop it. So if people are going to talk about you anyway, you might as well build the future you want. Stop whining and stop trying to think about excuses.
Just grow some courage. Okay, so you are all pumped up now? And your self-esteem is on it`s peak? Awesome. What`s next?
Use your good self-esteem and…
10. Take action now!
When you have done all the steps above, there is no need for more analyzing or thinking. You have already done that. Enough talk. It`s time to do the actual walk and kill the procrastination beast once and for all!
You can do it. Just remove your butt from your chair and just do it! Take action now!