When I talk to people about their biggest challenges as it relates to staying focused on what they want to accomplish in their lives, invariably, the topic of time management or procrastination rears its ugly head.
And it makes perfect sense that procrastinating is what will cause more dreams to go by the way side than any other habit anyone could possibly form. After all, the very act of procrastinating means that you or I are wasting time. Really, what you end up wasting is opportunity, which exists all around you, every day, woven into those moments in your life that you are either present for, or that you miss.
Yes, I am suggesting that you have to be engaged in your life to be able to take advantage of the opportunities to succeed. Your level of consciousness in all of the present moments that you can potentially experience will have absolutely everything to do with your level of achievement.
Success can be measured in many ways, but I would say that ultimately, it can be measured by your personal level of peace, contentment, and happiness. If you feel good, you have become a success. There are a lot of ways to get there, and for each of us, there are different things that make us feel good.
I want to share with you the first chapter from my e-book, Stop Procrastinating Now, because I think a huge part of learning to abandon the practice of procrastination is first learning what the heck it is. If you read this excerpt and think you might want to read more, just fill in your name and e-mail address at the top right of the blog, and join Habitual Victory. If you do that, you’ll be able to download the entire e-book (it’s a 12 pager, so a very easy read), and you’ll also get what I call “Inspiration In Your Inbox” every week. These are tips, insights, strategies, and suggestions that are specifically designed to keep you centered, focused, and moving toward becoming the ultimate version of yourself. In other words, the kick-in-the-tail that most all of us need to stay motivated! My passion is to help you, and I’d love for you to get started toward achieving your best life today.
Here’s chapter one from Stop Procrastinating Now:
Chapter One: What is Procrastination?
“Procrastination is a beast. It is the antithesis of success. For anyone who wishes to accomplish anything worthy, it is the single most dangerous habit that they can indulge in. And yes, procrastination is habitual. It is learned over time, and it is perfected with practice. It is a deceiver in the truest sense. In many instances, it feels like the right thing to do, and in fact, it can even lead to false confidence, which we will talk about a little later. But make no mistake; if you allow procrastination to run your life, you will never achieve the things you are capable of. Not in a million years.
So how do you rid yourself of this nasty habit and start moving toward achievement? It all starts with a very clear understanding of what procrastination truly is, and how it works.
The dictionary defines procrastination like this:
‘To defer action; to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost’
Put even more simply, procrastination is NOT taking action. Or, you might say that it is the ACTION of NON ACTION. And I want to take it a step further. I would say that procrastination is NOT taking INSPIRED action.
I’ll talk about inspired action a little more in depth in a moment, but understand that when you put something off, you almost always find something else to do. It just isn’t that thing you know you should do.
Think about it. Get a clear picture in your mind of the last time you procrastinated. There was something that you knew you needed to do, and yet you made the conscious decision not to do it. When you step back and look at that situation a little more objectively, it brings up a very obvious question. And that question is, “Why?” Why in the world did you choose not to do something that you knew you needed to do? Do you see how that inaction could be a problem if it became a habit? Scary, isn’t it?
Now let me differentiate between action and inspired action.
Doing something just for the sake of doing it would not be considered inspired. When you are inspired, it means that you are imbued with the spirit to do something. In layman’s terminology that means you are moved to action because of a thought. All inspiration starts between your ears. You may hear something or read something, or be told something, but however it gets there, you have a thought which leads you in a certain direction, and then you make a choice. You either follow that thought through, taking the inspired action…or you “blow it off” and decide to do something else, or in extreme reaction, you do nothing. The last two choices are of course, procrastination.
So now we have a pretty good working understanding of what procrastination is. At the core, it is not taking inspired action. Now let’s talk a little bit about how it works.”