Have you ever been plagued with a task that you continuously put off? You are not alone. Present company included. Procrastination is a productivity killer so I’m always interested in learning new approaches to tackling this issue.
Please allow me to introduce you to my, colleague, David McGlennan. Every time David and I get together, I learn something new. David, is the President of Impact Leadership Consulting. As a high performance culture coach, David helps business owners, executives and growth oriented self-employed individuals to gain clarity of purpose and intentional living so that they can accomplish what matters most to them. Here are his thoughts on overcoming procrastination.
What Holds You Back
In one word, I can tell you what holds you back from realizing your full potential and also the task of creating an organized life.
That word is procrastination.
Now before you think I’m getting on my soapbox about how I never procrastinate and I always do what I know I should do, I am actually writing this article to myself. Just because I’m a high-performance coach doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with putting things off. This blog post is more of a reminder to me that I must be vigilant about taking action on the things I know I must do.
Over the month of December, I was so focused on my launch of a new program for leaders (or so I told myself) that I allowed my desk and office to become a hive of clutter. Now, it just so happens that I was preparing for an interview with a delightful and fun professional organizer whom you just might know. (hint: she just wrote an amazing Amazon best-selling book!)
Well, because I was motivated to not look like I was a total hot mess, I got to the task of cleaning up my office. It was the push I needed to focus my attention on what needed to get done. I got to the task of cleaning up in one section of my desk at a time which, in my interview with said author/organizer, said was a good strategy to use.
One of the mentors in my life is the prolific author John C. Maxwell. He has a story that he tells about when he started his personal growth journey that involves a practice of self-talk which literally led to him eliminating procrastination from his life.
Every morning and every evening, for 30 days, he would say out loud 30 times: “Do it now. Do it now. Do it now…”
As he tells the story like only he can, it transformed his thinking to be a person who didn’t wait but he created a habit that informed his body to take action immediately.
I’ve found that I procrastinate when there’s a task that I don’t particularly find exciting and perhaps even something that I don’t feel is productive. But that’s where I’m learning to change my thinking – and it’s a process of behavior change that takes some work.
Behavior change is tough work that requires being very intentional and conscious to what you are doing and who you want to become. It’s really too large of a topic for this blog post to address but I want to suggest one thing that can begin the process of overcoming procrastination.
One strategy that I’ve installed for changing my habits and has me to overcome my own procrastination in many areas is in my morning routine.
I’ve set up a solid morning ritual that is secure as a habit now. I get up early every morning and the first thing I do (after pouring a cup of coffee which has been set up the night before to brew at just the right time), is to sit in my favorite chair to have some silence time. I take time to meditate and listen to the thoughts that are passing through the mind and take notice of my body sensations.
Next, I spend time reading, journaling and visualizing my day.
By creating this ritual first thing in the morning and staying away from any social media, email or news, I’m setting the intention for the day and telling my body that I will act on those things that are most important to me.
I’m using this cue to help me begin my day by “doing it now” and taking action on the most important things.
Your routine may be different and have different elements. It’s really only important that you set the intention to take control of your morning so that you can own your day.
Am I perfect? By no means!
But I have created a strategy to help me to overcome my procrastination and I hope you can set up a morning ritual or routine that serves to help you to overcome yours.
Now…go DO IT NOW!
If you’d like to have a free audio series entitled Peak Performance Principles with 10 lessons by David McGlennen, click here to get access to his program to up-level your performance.