Quick moment of irony: As I began writing this article, I thought, “I’ll do a quick check on Facebook first.”
I stopped. Then I marched myself over to this document.
If you keep NOT getting things done, it’s not because you are lazy. It’s probably because you are scared. Or you’re a perfectionist. Or you’re overwhelmed. No big deal. It happens to everyone.
Here are 9 of my favorite tricks to stop procrastinating and get your projects done already…
1 – When you get a business idea, do some little thing to begin.
When I read Stephen King’s book On Writing, I noticed something. I noticed that when Stephen King gets an idea, he writes it. Immediately and imperfectly.
Most people get an idea.
Then they sit there.
They wonder if it’s a good idea.
Then, they wonder if it’s a good idea some more.
Got an idea? Begin it now!
2 – All hail small chunks of time!
Lots of us complain about having no time.
The truth is we all have lots of time. It just doesn’t happen to be all at once.
Are you waiting for many hours of spare time to begin your business idea, your project, or your taxes? Stop waiting! Learn to use the spare half hour that comes up here and there. (I gave myself 45 minutes to write this article just to take my own advice.)
3 – Do it badly.
Set a goal to do it badly. Set a goal to show up. Let go of doing it ALL, or doing it WELL.
Some of my coaching clients’ biggest victories have a lot more to do with getting over perfectionism and fear, than they do about getting it all done perfectly.
4 – Commit aloud.
Call a friend and say something like this: “I’m going to spend the next hour working on this project.” Then go do it.
Call the friend after the half hour and make her congratulate you. Repeat daily.
5 – Define quantities.
Nebulous goals make for nebulous results.
“I’m gonna get my office organized” is a lot like saying, “We oughtta do something about Global Warming.”
Many of us have a hard time defining quantities. We think everything needs to be done NOW.
When are you going to do it? For how long? Which part of your office? The file cabinet? Or your desk?
Define the goal and acknowledge its completion.
6 – Install this System Upgrade into your Mental Hard Drive: Less is More.
Have fewer goals. Have no more than three priorities for a week.
Because you’re not lazy. You’re just trying to do too much.
Find out what it feels like to accomplish one thing instead of not quite getting to everything.
7 – Do it first.
My very first coach made me write first thing in the morning. He told me to schedule the 2-hour chunk as my first activity upon waking.
“Because you’re telling the universe that this is your priority. And then the universe lines up everything to align with your priority.”
Action grounds your priorities. It makes them real. It also makes your day easier because you’re not wasting energy thinking about this project you keep putting off.
8 – Avoid “nose-bleed” activities.
Email, voicemail, web stats – any activity that bleeds itself into your whole day becomes a non-activity. It becomes a nose-bleed.
When you do it all the time, you never complete it. You just let it slowly drain the very life force from you. Define times for these activities. Then, turn off your email, your cell phone, your web stats, until that time comes.
9 – Don’t ask how you “feel” about doing the activity.
Have you ever committed to getting fit? And then when the alarm goes off, you lie in bed thinking, “Do I really feel like going to the gym?” (Like you even have to ask!)
Change this pattern. A habit is something you set up in advance from a place of intention. Make your decision the night before. Commit to getting up and going right to the gym, the computer, the blank canvas. Don’t have coffee and sigh and think, “I’ll probably feel more like it at lunch time.” You won’t!
If it’s a priority, don’t waste time asking yourself how you feel about doing it. Feelings are an easy out.
There. I did it.
I wrote this article.
And now I don’t even want to go to Facebook! How about that?