We take time for granted. Many people “kill time” on a daily basis. Yet when it comes to doing things we claim we want to do, we could never “find the time” necessary to do them.
Why do we waste so much time?
Time is our most valuable resource. We can NEVER make up for the time we lose. NEVER! Sadly – we continue to waste it.
“I’ll start tomorrow, on Saturday, on Monday, next week, next month…” No guarantees – but we put things off!
I’m by no means the most productive person on island. I’ve been thinking about why I do what I do with the time given to me on a daily basis. What’s with the procrastination? What are the fears? Why when you know that you’re on-track to crash, do you not hop off the ride immediately and choose a better more positive ending? Am I more committed to proving myself right about my insecurities and inabilities and weaknesses than I am in investing in my own success?
We all procrastinate and just to be certain that’s what you’re doing – here’s a great definition.
You are procrastinating if you KNOW WHAT to do, but you don’t do it.
In Lynn Lively’s book ‘The Procrastinator’s Guide to Success’ she says “At its most elemental, procrastination is the failure to take action, to make something happen. You know what to do, but you don’t do it. Solving this problem requires two things: First you need tips and techniques to nudge yourself forward, but in addition, you need to figure out WHY you are procrastinating. After all, you are a very intelligent person and can see the consequences of what you are doing.”
Here are a few tips that I got from Lynn’s book and plan to use as I address my tendency to procrastinate – ALOT!
Figure out what has the biggest payoff and do that first. We have a finite number of minutes each day. People with more money don’t have more minutes. People who are struggling don’t get less minutes. The number of minutes is the same for everybody. How do you want to spend these minutes? We must be truthful about this. What is important and how best do you want to invest in you?
Create confidence builders. Identify something you CAN do and make that where you begin. Success is the result of doing many small things and doing enough of them right that you keep making steady forward progress. Vow that no matter how busy your day gets or how many interruptions surface that you will do ONE thing to move you toward your goal. Doing at least one thing is guaranteed to break the log jam of inertia.
Start complex tasks when fresh; complete easy jobs when tired. Most of us have more energy in the morning after a good night’s rest. Prepare the night before and commit to starting X once you’ve had your coffee, for example.
Be your own biggest fan. This I know will be challenging as my self-talk is usually against and not FOR me. Listen to your own self-talk. Are you motivating and encouraging yourself? If not, it’s time to start. It’s easy to let your internal language deteriorate into that of a displeased parent scolding yourself. Once you’re past 10, feeling like a naughty child is not likely to be motivating; all it does is make you more stubborn. Give yourself a term of endearment and use it. Pick either an incredibly powerful term like “president of (your name) enterprises” or the fuzziest, silliest baby-talk name you can think of, like the one you use with your cat or dog when she is being cute. Try something like “Come on, you smart snuffle bunny, pick up that phone. I know you can do it!” You can also use this label as a password on your computer. You will laugh EVERY time!
Think back to when you were in school. Were you a chronic crammer? Did you study just the night before and still get A’s?
Now would be a good time to examine that behaviour pattern. Your work is far more complex and requires much more thought and effort than revising notes to memory, to regurgitate the next day. Start sooner on projects and tasks. It will be a lot less stressful and to be honest – it’s time for us to grow up! – Don’t you think?
Set a finish date and then plan time backwards from then to today. Be real and include time for delays, and mistakes etc.
Most times I know, we don’t take action is because we have no guarantee that what we’re investing our time in will pay off. We want guaranteed success.
Yet the greatest risk we face is clinging to our successful past. Unless we are making changes in the present moment, we can’t create the future we claim to desire. You don’t want to become the person who talks about how things used to be and that things will never be the same.
Taking chances could be fun if we allow ourselves the experience. Taking risks is a small price to pay for leading an interesting and success-filled life.
Let’s do this! Let’s say “no” to wasting time! To waste time is to waste your life!