Bypassing Procrastination: The Trick to Making It Happen

Everyone procrastinates. I meet and work with people across continents, countries and cultures, and the one thing clients continually complain about is the compulsion to procrastinate.

And I know how they feel. I know how it feels when a single task gets postponed once, then twice, to soon become a nightmare that haunts you daily from the backstage of your mind. In business and in life, procrastination can quickly turn a snowflake into an avalanche. Learning how to bypass procrastination has been the key for me to making IT happen repeatedly. The trick is to use the power of emotions to fuel your engine and drive performance and achievement.

My Macy’s Balloon Moment

Not that long ago, I realized I had been carrying a business idea around in my head for far longer than I’d like to admit. The job almost seemed too big to tackle, like one of those Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons big, eye-catching, looming. As I realized how long it had been since I conceived this idea, I nearly drowned in repugnance, revulsion and even contempt. Disgusted with myself over my prolonged procrastination, I started speed shouting, as if someone were there to listen about what I really wanted to experience and longed for instead. Focusing on what I really wanted and why it was important enabled me to finally break through the barrier of procrastination. By connecting with the feeling of what I wanted, by connecting with the energy-in-motion of that emotion, I made it happen!

Surfing in the curl of that colossal wave of emotion, I grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled a Personal Declaration, which read like this: “I hereby declare that, in this very moment, there is nothing in the world that I would love more than to have this new On-Call Consulting & Coaching offer on my website, pulsating my message across the globe 24/7 for millions to see and access me!” I made it official by adding the date and time, and signing my name in ink.

Next, with my declaration firmly in hand, I took four steps to making that goal a reality:

      1. I asked myself, “What do I need to make that happen?” I was surprised to find I was only missing two simple things to achieve this goal.
      2. Next, I brainstormed at least three ways to resolve each point, generating further momentum and contingency plans.
      3. I determined the amount of time I would dedicate to accomplishing my aim.
      4. I set the timer, and I was off!


Emotion in Motion

In the end, what I had put off for almost half a year, I accomplished in less than 90 minutes. Even better, I was now able to help people who desperately wanted and needed what I offered at a fraction of the price of a full-scale engagement, making a difference in more lives than just my own.

I learned that you have to be aligned with and cognizant of your values to enjoy your work (and to want to complete it). You have to face the fear, which often is illusory, that might be holding you back or slowing you down. You have to enable emotions to serve as a strong springboard for success sometimes.

So next time you decide, “I’ll deal with this tomorrow” or “I’ll tackle that project later,” remind yourself that today’s procrastination quickly turns into tomorrow’s frustration. By bypassing procrastination, you can make it happen sooner than you think.

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