Procrastination is marketing’s most dangerous enemy
- Jay Conrad Levinson
One of the most common characteristics of a procrastinator is the procrastinator’s ability to rationalize why he or she procrastinates. Certain personality types could possibly tend to procrastinate more than others but even the most driven “D” will put things off because of fear, pain or over commitment.
People procrastinate for many reasons:
• Lack of competencies
• Task is too complex
• Can’t get everything done
• Want it to be “perfect”
• Lack of motivation
• Fear of failure
• Fear of success
• Can’t prioritize
What do you say when you talk to yourself? Here are some common conversations with procrastinators –
• There’s always tomorrow
• Should I really do that?
• I’ve got plenty of time
• I do much better in a time-crunch
• I always eventually get it done
• I’m not ready to get started
• It’s just too hard
• I’m not energized
• I do better first thing in the morning
• I’m a night owl
• I’ve got writer’s block (hmmm....do plumbers have plumbers block?)
• It’s just unfair that I should have to be doing this
• I have to wait until I get everything lined up just right
• If I wait long enough, maybe I won’t have to do it
• I’ve been talking about doing this, but can’t seem to get started.
Taking Control and Destroy Procrastination - Procrastination can be traced back to many things but the main thing is to stop. Here are some you can do to begin eliminating your procrastination –
1. Control what you say when you talk to yourself. Norm Helmstetter has written an excellent book about this subject: What to Say When You Talk To Yourself
2. Find someone to hold you accountable and give them permission. This needs to be someone you trust and has your best interest at heart. Use the behaviors Covey lays out in The Speed of Trust and/or Miller's QBQ as a guideline to keep the accountability healthy.
3. Practice TASKS Based Goal Setting. Many times we don’t do something because of our lack of competencies (talent, attitude, skill, knowledge and/or style). Insure you’re capable of doing the task you are procrastinating about. Click "here" for more information.
4. Prioritize. Most people who are accused of procrastinating are spending their productive time being busy with unimportant and non-urgent tasks. If they are of the “D” and “I” personality type, they are likely letting every distraction possible get in the way.
Three good books are Stephen Covey’s 1st Things 1st, Todd Duncan’s Timetraps and Patrick Lincionni’s Death by Meeting.
5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Uncover blind spots. This combines with the TASKS Based Goal Setting. We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses and we all have blind spots.
a. Identify them through assessments, surveys and/or someone that cares (either friend, family or paid coach)...contact danny@rp2development about $150 assessment package and we'll throw in a coaching session surrounding these assessments at no extra charge.
b. Strengths need to be enhanced
d. Blind spots. They are called blind spots because you can’t see them; assessments, friends, family, coaches and/or co-workers
6. Adjust your standard. Are you too much of a perfectionist or are you modeling yourself and your business against too high of a standard. You can improve what you are doing as you have more money, time and competencies.
a. High “C” type personalities are very vulnerable to this problem.
b. High “S” type personalities will possibly use the perfectionist excuse and delay improving at all.
7. Celebrate. Reward yourself appropriately as you reach milestones, complete tasks and achieve goals; tell yourself you did a great job, write it down somewhere and congratulate yourself. If you have an accountability partner, insure he/she knows you’ve completed it and if they don’t congratulate you – get a new partner!
To that end.....