You are not a procrastinator, but…
You are not a procrastinator, but you do it sometimes. Don’t label yourself; model the best parts of yourself. If you are decisive in one area, you can be so in any area. Simply build your decision muscle by drawing on past decisive successes.
What are indecisiveness & procrastination?
Procrastination and indecisiveness are normal human traits that serve to help us avoid fear, pain and threatening situations. They conserve our energy for more important tasks. Do not label yourself a procrastinator – there is nothing wrong with you. Just be aware that all the little excuses and menial tasks you’re doing are a mechanism for self-protection.
Why do you procrastinate? You’re not sure?
Indecisiveness and procrastination have a deeper, hidden cause and purpose, now outdated, to ensure your survival and preserve your self-worth, and to enable you to avoid pain and fear. Your work is not your worth. You need to use modern techniques to deal with prehistoric programming and embrace the fast-changing world.
You are not alone
We all procrastinate. You are not alone. If you are struggling, ask for help. What you are going through, we all are, and there are others who’ve solved your biggest problem. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and often the easiest path to the solution.
Your work is not your worth
Have a clear wall of defence between you and your work. The world can judge your work, but that does not define who you are. You are capable of decisiveness, clarity and greatness.
The pain & paradox of perfection
Perfectionism can be a curse and a veil to protect your self-worth to avoid the fear of failure and being judged. Strive for excellence instead. ‘Start Now. Get Perfect Later’.
Pre-crastination is the illusion of busyness we create by ‘getting things ready’ before we start. Catch yourself out. Save your faffing, checking and moving things from one place to another for your first break, where you can reward yourself with some procrastination. ‘Start Now’.
Beware of ‘active procrastination’: being busy for the sake of feeling busy. It’s like eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s: it feels good at the time but the guilt kicks in later. Catch yourself out, break the pattern, and do a high-value task or make an important decision now.
Don’t put off until tomorrow…
Do not put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. ‘Start Now’. Do. Not. Delay. A decision to do nothing is still a decision, and that all-important task will get nastier and bigger and hairier until you sort it out. Take a deep breath. Do not think. Just ‘Start Now’.
Task jumping is NOT multi-tasking, it is time wasting. It can take between 2× and 8× more time to complete a task if you jump and flit between too many tasks. The time (void) between tasks consumes the most energy, as a body in motion tends to stay in motion. All the energy is in the starting again, again. Turn off all distractions, isolate yourself and maintain your flow state for as long as you can.
The myth of BIG decisions
Most big decisions are made up of lots of much smaller decisions. Decisions take split-nanoseconds to make but can take years to prepare for. Reduce the weight and size of decisions by breaking them down, knowing you will make lots of good (small) ones and a few bad (small) ones, along your journey to success. So start making more (small) decisions.
What you worry about rarely comes about
What you worry about rarely comes about, like an argument in your own head. Almost every time your worry doesn’t play out as you feared, so stop living in the past or future. Make a decision and let it be, knowing you can change course at any time to control the outcome.
Don’t dwell on the past…
Live in the moment. Allow it to play out with curiosity, and don’t ruin it by bringing your baggage into the present. Let go. Forgive yourself and others. Don’t dwell on the past…fail forward fast.
What other people think of you…
Worrying about what other people think about you is time consuming, draining and distracting. People will judge you no matter what you decide or do, so do the thing that is best for yourself and those you care about. Be yourself and you will find those who like you for who you are, not who you are pretending to be.
The void & the unknown
All decisions – good, bad and nothing – are unknowns. Don’t waste your life stuck in the void of non-decision, fearing the unknown, as all is unknown. There are good and bad decisions in all good decisions. A bad decision may give you a short sharp pain, but the void of non-decisions will give you a slow, creep-up-on-you ache for a lifetime.
Part of me this, part of me that
Being torn in a state of ‘part of me this, part of me that’ is natural. This polarization can create confusion, but it also gives you clarity as you are able to see all options. When feeling torn, allow yourself to see all sides and then make a proactive decision, knowing you have more wisdom than only seeing one side.
There are no bad decisions
There are no single bad decisions, just lots of small decisions. There are great lessons to be learned from decisions you perceive to be bad, and these will help you get better at making good decisions. Even if a decision was a disaster, holding onto that only makes it worse. Even if you have to kid yourself at first, see every decision as a good one and it becomes one.
Overwhelm me, I love it
Steve Jobs was famous for his reality distortion field (RDF) that pushed himself and those around him to not only get more done, but achieve things they thought previously impossible. Embrace the paradox of overwhelm by giving yourself and others just a little too much to do, as opposed to not enough. Then impose deadlines and strong reasons to hit those challenging targets.
Don’t fake it till you make it, do this instead…
Get very clear about what you want. Visualize consciously and unconsciously. Then act ‘as if’ you are already there: being, doing and having it. Not as a fake, but as an authentic person moving towards where you want to go and who you want to become. ‘Be it till you see it’. Practise, don’t pretend.
Think BIG, start small
Think BIG, sure, but start small, so you can start now. The bigger the task, the harder it is to start. Chunk it down to the single, easy first step, and start walking. Before you know it, you’ve run a marathon or eaten an elephant.
Let go to grow
You have to let go to grow. The more you try to control the situation, and people, the more you push them away. Tension causes friction, and friction slows things down. Manage the paradox of control versus faith, set the goal, then trust people you’ve decided to trust, and let them crack on. Be there for support but don’t get in their way. Pick your battles wisely.
Your decision muscle
Decision making is a muscle that can be trained and can grow strong. Learn from all decisions, good and bad, and you will get better and faster at making them. Transmute your confidence from other areas of your life, seek counsel of those who’ve got experience, and keep tweaking your decisions embracing perceived mistakes; they could be the next Post-It Note or penicillin.
What NOT to do
It can help knowing what you should be doing by knowing what you should NOT be doing. Minimize all low-value and time-wasting tasks, and conversely leverage out high-value tasks that others can do better than you, to get your task list down and your done list up.
‘To leverage’ lists
Use the 4Ds system of Delegate, Delete, Delay before you Do. Reduce your ‘to do’ list by up to two-thirds by leveraging first, managing second and doing last or not at all. Outsource all the things you aren’t good at, that distract you and you don’t enjoy to others who love it and are better at it. Rename your ‘to do’ list your ‘to leverage’ list to change your habits.
It’s not what you do, it’s when you do it
It’s not what you do, it’s when you do it. Test your ideal daily structure by testing your optimum sleep, diet and where you place your tasks in the day according to your highs and lows, ebbs and flows. Test a few routines; see how productive, efficient and balanced they make your day, and settle on the ideal one for you. Plan your entire schedule: work, rest and play based on this and live life on your own terms.
Problem solvers rule the world
You don’t have to be a genius to solve meaningful problems, you just have to have the mindset before the skill set. Your attitude to solving problems dictates your aptitude. There are infinite problems to solve that lead to infinite solutions, so problems are inherent in solutions. Get stuck in, stand up and tackle big problems and you will increase in value and self-worth. You will become a great leader who inspires other leaders. Problem solvers rule the world.