Daily Archives: February 17, 2013

Ending Procrastination

Jim Rohn

Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but you’ll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won’t even be able to start your engine.

The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

Ask people why they procrastinate and you’ll often hear something like this: “I’m a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can’t work when I have a headache.” The other end of procrastination—being unable to finish—also has a perfectionist explanation: “I’m just never satisfied. I’m my own harshest critic. If all the i’s aren’t dotted and all the t’s aren’t crossed, I just can’t consider that I’m done. That’s just the way I am, and I’ll probably never change.”

Do you see what’s going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but in the end it’s just a very pious kind of excuse making. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with what’s really behind procrastination.

Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That’s what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What’s the difference whether you’re afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else? You’re still paralyzed by fear. What’s the difference whether you never start or never finish? You’re still stuck. You’re still going nowhere. You’re still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You’re still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished, or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It’s a very convenient mental tool.

I’m going to tell you how to overcome procrastination. I’m going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.

The first principle is: break it down.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house, the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time. Focus on accomplishing what’s right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what’s off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That’s the first all-important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.

Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a four-hundred-page novel. If you’re like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We’re breaking down the four-hundred-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you’re being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to do look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.

Suppose I were to ask you, Can you fill up a page and a quarter with words—not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don’t look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.

If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow–if I told them, I don’t want you to look back, and I don’t want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day–do you think they could do it?

One day at a time. We’ve all heard that phrase. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re breaking down the time required for a major task into one–day segments, and we’re breaking down the work involved in writing a four-hundred-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.

Keep this up for one year, and you’ll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: break it down.

The second principle is: write it down.

My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: write it down. We know how important writing is to goal setting. The writing you’ll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you’re now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you’re going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you’re going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.

In other words, you’re going to keep a diary of your activities. And you’re going to be amazed by the distractions, detours, and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it’s almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you’re actually doing… and what you’re not doing.

The time diary doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible; if it’s inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every thirty minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.

Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don’t let that fool you: These are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started to achieving your goals.

 

 

Business Cards – The Secret to Our Success

Shaun Omar – DSD Investor Group, Inc.

How many of us continue to go to networking events and exchange business cards only to bring them back and put them in a box, in a pile on your desk or even in a drawer?  Well, it’s time that stopped!  These little gems could be the pathway to your success but only if we get them working for us.

How can a stack or box of business cards work for me??

It’s time to start thinking outside of the business owner box and start thinking like an entrepreneur.  If we constantly make contact with other professionals and we only see them at these events, then the relationships we think we have created are not really doing us any good.  Like most of us, we exchange cards because we have the intention of keeping in touch but somehow we seem to fall into the routine and they go nowhere; we were there. I recently attended a Dave Lindahl event and met a lot of new people but also ran into several people that we have met at other events and although we exchanged cards and info several events ago, we still seem to only talk at the events. I had a rather full schedule of lunches and dinners and the conversations were awesome which pushed me to do something more to stay in touch.

 

Let’s take those same professionals and we input all of their info into a database so we can stay in contact with them, this increases our chances of doing business with them dramatically.  Let’s say we send out a newsletter monthly or we send out a notice to let everyone know what we are doing in the industry like what deals we have done or what’s coming up or even just a simple email to say “how have you been”, now we are keeping our name in front of them on a regular basis.  If your newsletter has good content then you will have people that will actually look forward to it coming.

This is made very easy to do now with internet companies like Constant Contact, iContact, Mail Chimp….and the list goes on.  These companies allow us to do email blasts out to a large list of contacts simply by doing one template.  We all get emails from services like this some of us just don’t realize it.  This now changes the way we can utilize these valuable contacts we have made through all of this networking we have done.  These services are fairly inexpensive for the return you can expect to receive by keeping your name in front of your contacts on a regular basis.

If you put this simple practice to work for you and do it regularly, you will find that you will start to do more business with these valuable contacts just because they remember your name and the connection you had at the networking events that lead to the exchange of cards initially.  By following this simply practice you can’t help but increase your success, after all, one of the main reasons you exchanged those cards to begin with was the potential to do business with them.  I have increased my business since we have started sharing with our contacts.       Good luck and see you at the TOP!!!