The Gentle Art of Procrastination

Procrastination! Who would know, one of my specialities !

In the past, before I became ‘enlightened ‘ I would make a kind of  ’to do list’ .. BUT before I got to THE LIST, I would sit down at the ‘black hole’ that is my computer, check my emails, read the news, see how Andy Murray is doing in the tennis world, find something in one of my emails that looked like it would be ‘fun’ to do !

and…..the ‘ things’ on my list?

Yeh, well, I’d get to them eventually! 

Then.. the cats would need feeding, something in the garden looked like it needed re-potting, my putting stroke needed just a little practise, you KNOW the story don’t you..the list of THINGS that are FUN to do before getting to the list of things that you NEED to do gets longer and longer and LONGER!

I was getting NOTHING done.

However, the old adage that ‘the less time you have , the more you can accomplish ‘ is Oh So True!  

Suddenly, I would find myself short of time, rush around like a mad thing, doing the things on the list quickly, with focus and ….bingo, there they are…DONE!

So, why didn’t I do that in the FIRST place
instead of frittering my valuable time away ???

Have you heard of the ‘Eat That Frog’ concept?

brian-tracy-eat-that-frogThere’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.

Using “eat that frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also probably the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life has been working like a charm for me and alhough I still do the ‘mindless ‘ things on my list, by starting my day by doing the ‘worst’ thing on my list I’m getting SO much more done ! A fab side effect of the ‘eat that frog’ concept is that it takes away the ‘guilt of procrastination’  !! ;-)

Here’s an excerpt from Brian Tracy’s ‘Eat that Frog’ below which includes a powerful 7-step formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use to get things done and work your way down that ‘must do’ list with ease:

You’ll not only get more done faster, but you’ll get the right things done.

Here is a great rule for success:
Think on paper.

Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish five or ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.

There is a powerful formula for setting and achieving goals that you can use for the rest of your life. It consists of seven simple steps. Any one of these steps can double and triple your productivity if you are not currently using it.

  1. Decide exactly what you want. Either decide for yourself or sit down with your boss and discuss your goals and objectives until you are crystal clear about what is expected of you and in what order of priority.
  2. Write it down. Think on paper. When you write down a goal, you crystallize it and give it tangible form. You create something that you can touch and see. On the other hand, a goal or objective that is not in writing is merely a wish or a fantasy. It has no energy behind it.
  3. Set a deadline on your goal; set sub deadlines if necessary. A goal or decision without a deadline has no urgency. It has no real beginning or end. Without a definite deadline, you will naturally procrastinate and get very little done.
  4. Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. As you think of new activities, add them to your list. Keep building your list until it is complete. A list gives you a visual picture of the larger task or objective. It gives you a track to run on.
  5. Organize the list into a plan. Organize your list by priority and sequence. Take a few minutes to decide what you need to do first and what you can do later. With a written goal and an organized plan of action, you will be far more productive and efficient than people who are carrying their goals around in their minds.
  6. Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything. An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done.
  7. Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal. Build this activity into your daily schedule. You may decide to read a specific number of pages on a key subject. You may call on a specific number of prospects or customers. You may engage in a specific period of physical exercise. Whatever it is, you must never miss a day.

Keep pushing forward. Once you start moving, keep moving.

Don’t stop.

This decision, this discipline alone, can dramatically increase your
speed of goal accomplishment and boost your personal productivity.

Brian Tracy has just come out with a FAB iPhone app that I am currently reviewing:

Eat That Frog iPhone App US

Eat That Frog iPhone App UK

Eat That Frog BOOKS:

‘Eat That Frog Amazon US’

‘Eat That Frog Amazon UK’