Here’s how I beat the crap out of procrastination…
I sat down at my desk yesterday morning and felt a bit overwhelmed. With the move and my traveling for work two weeks a month, I don’t quite have a routine yet. There are odds and ends to take care of caused by the move, new ways of interacting with clients, and just generally trying to get into a groove.
Yesterday I had a hard time with just beginning. So I checked Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn. I shuffled papers around. I talked to Nelson a bit.
Finally, after much procrastination, I made a giant pile of everything on my desk and sorted through it one bit at a time. I attacked my email with gusto and went from 67 messages in my inbox down to the breathe-easy number (for me) of 20. I made my list of To Do’s and got down to business.
Last week I talked at length with a client about this same issue. He said he’ll sit at his desk and not know where to start. Then he starts clicking around in email, shuffling paper, and answering calls. Soon, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon and he’s gotten nothing of significance done.
I asked him, “Well, do you have anything of significance to do?”
He laughed and said, “Of course.”
Ask me the same question and I’ll give you the same answer. Yet, does knowing there’s significant work to be done actually help us do the work? Too often, the answer is no. (I’ll dive more into the underlying reasons for this later this week.)
Without getting all religious or anything, I read something last week that has stuck with me. This article or note said the Bible passage, “The meek shall inherit the earth” has actually been mis-translated. Instead, the passage should read, “The disciplined shall inherit the earth.”
Now, I think that makes a lot of sense. And evidently Kung Fu Master Bruce Lee does, too, because he said, “The successful warrior is the average person with laser-like focus.”
I’m average. My client is average, too. And so are you. We are all gloriously average!
Yet, we can become a successful warrior (whatever that means to you) if we can learn to focus and embrace discipline.
Viola – I think it’s the secret to life and business and everything else!
Focus and discipline.
So, a little exercise for you (and me) this morning.
Step One: make a list of the top five favorite ways you procrastinate. (Mine are hopping on social media, organizing my desk [ahem], doing laundry, reading, and cleaning the house).
Step Two: list the five most important things you do day in and day out to create success in your life. (Again, mine are writing, sharing my writing, creating clients, working with clients, and exercising).
Step Three: post these lists at your desk or on your fridge or bathroom mirror for everyday use [unless you have 50 million notes and Post Its there already - first, clean up all that crap!]. Then, pay attention to your procrastination tendencies. Re-focus like a laser on those five most important things and choose to do them day in and day out to create success.
Can it be that easy? Yes, with focus and discipline, it certainly can.
It’s the old 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your efforts generate 80 percent of your success (translation: focus and discipline).
Choose your activities and where you spend your energy wisely, grasshoppa. Then you, too, can “inherit the earth.”
P.S. A Make Some Room Rendezvous session is THE perfect place to begin. Schedule yours now!
P.P.S. Yes, I was totally in procrastination mode yesterday. My coach made a very powerful request of me last week and I was totally and completely avoiding it. High-risk. More about this in my next note.