It’s November and nearing year-end as I write this post. Starting a new blog on How To Create A Passive Income Business Online, was one of my objectives for 2012.
23 weeks down the line, I look back and reflect on the progress… in an effort to kill the potential procrastination that can creep up on me like a thief in the night!
In January 2013, I’m pretty sure I’ll come across that all to familiar cliche: ‘New Years Resolution’.
How often have you set some goals or new year’s resolutions and failed to achieve them?
How often have you failed to even act on some of your life goals or new years resolutions?
As human beings, we have been created to achieve! We have a constant desire to improve and ultimately live a fulfilled life. Sadly though, most of society never get started! Those that get started, don’t follow through enough.
I truly believe that all of the above happens because of this one destructive demon called procrastination!
Statistic Brain, published an interesting list titled: Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012:
Are any of the above familiar?
More interestingly, and incredibly scary is that only 8% of people actually achieve their new years resolution!
I want to use some of the results I’ve achieved (on this blog and in my ultra marathon running) and give you a few tips that will help you to become a part of that 8% in any area of your life and take charge of your procrastination.
1. There has to be a BIG Picture…
Anything done in isolation feels like a misfit! Cliches are cliches because they are often very true.
One such cliche goes as follows: If there isn’t a big enough “why”, then to get the “what” done becomes a drag.
I have a BIG picture for my life. Yep, I have a list of life goals and bucket list that guides all my activities.
Before setting out to create this blog, I checked it against my overall life plans to ensure that there was compatibility. Ever felt frustrated by a goal that you pursued? Ever felt uncomfortable pursuing a goal. Often, you will find that there is a mis-match between your goal and your overall life plan.
In addition, I made sure that I created a BIG picture for my blog that urges me to action on days (and even weeks) I feel like being a couch potato! We all have those moments because we are human but you need a counter plan against that laziness.
What the heck does this ‘BIG picture’ include, you might ask?
Whilst my big picture is the not a scientific formula that will cure AIDS, it does give me a heck of a lot of direction by highlighting the following:
- Why I started this blog
- Past success in my life (important. especially if you fear starting something new)
- 5 year plan (a mid to long term plan)
Simply rattling off a few words on the 1st of January (often after a heavy night of drinking and fun) is not enough to overcome this beast called procrastination.
2. Just Do It!
If a massive international brand like Nike and a genius entrepreneur like Richard Branson believe in the idea of “just doing it”, surely there is power in that!
Sounds crazy to just do things, right? But, the reality is if you’ve put some thought into something or an idea, then you have every tight to go ahead and try it out. Will it always work? Absolutely not! But, that’s not the point. The point is this: if you procrastinate, you will actually NEVER know if your ideas will succeed or not. And that is worse off than someone who tries and fails.
You will fail in life. But, that’s part of the challenge. The issue is not the failing. The issue is accepting the failing as your lot in life. Temporary failure actually ISN’T failure. It’s just a few hurdles you’ve got to overcome to get to your destiny.
Accept the challenge, tackle fear head-on and ‘just do it’ and you”ll be amazed how you will begin to take charge of your procrastination.
3. Organize Your Life…
Yep, ‘just do it’ is not a license to live an erratic life.
I don’t know if you noticed, but number 2 on that list of ‘Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012′, was ‘Getting Organized’.
That didn’t come to me as a surprise. I doubt there’s anyone who wakes up every morning and says, I want to:
- ‘wake up late’
- ‘rush my kids as they prepare for school’
- ‘do my make-up in the car’ (hey ladies!!!)
- ‘get stuck in traffic like a moron’
- ‘get a second warning at work for being a late’ (and risk getting fired!)
And yet, this is the story of many a life.
I also doubt that there’s anyone who prides themselves in being unhealthy and unfit and yest once again, it’s the story of many a life.
All the above comes down to a lack of organization. If you don’t organize your life, it becomes very difficult to prioritize and when you fail to prioritize, procrastination slowly becomes your friend.
Since the start of my new blog, I have written a total of 22 blog posts in 6 months. That’s a blog post every week! And yes, I do ALL the writing.
The secret to this is being organized. I have simplified my life by having a blog schedule.
I’ve learned over time that ‘less is more’. Whilst I have a crazy long bucket list and life goals, there’s absolutely no way I will achieve all of those things at the same time. So, I always try to simplify my life by having a workable schedule.
The reality is this: ‘if you can’t fit it into a day-to-day schedule, it WON’T get done’. No matter how great your dreams and resolutions, if you don’t organize your life, you increase the chances of frustration and that quickly turns into procrastination.
Organize your life! It takes time to plan and think things through, but it’s worth every minute.
4. You Have to ‘Give Up’ To ‘Go Up’
One central theme around ‘New Years Resolutions’ is progress and improvement of life.
I am yet to come across a resolution that says ‘get drunk more’, ‘smoke more cigarettes’, ‘spend less time with family’, ‘live a crappy, frustrating lifestyle’… And yet, come the end of each year, if most people would honestly review their life – all these weird things would crop up.
What really happens (or doesn’t happen) to cause such undesirable, procrastination fuelling results?
Well, it boils sown to a lack of sacrifice. Most people aren’t willing to give up their habits and ‘comfort zones’ so that they can ‘Go Up’ in life.
Being an Online Marketer comes with a set of shocking truths that one needs to be aware of and make peace with. One of those shocking truths is sweat and toil that entails hours of research and writing. Yep, for me to build this business into a passive income asset, I need to be give up a lot of ‘fun time’ and dedicate that to building my business.
Likewise, being a Comrades Marathon runner requires me to spend hours on road running at least 4 times a week. As a result, I have had to sacrifice and give up the following few things (that I really loved and enjoyed but were count-productive):
- drinking: boy did I love my whiskey…
- parties: I loved my parties. lovely ladies, good music and alcohol was the order of the day. I had to cut it out
- television: this was my pass time during the week. I used it to relax after hectic work days. i had to minimize it drastically
Just these 3 alone took up hours and hours of productive time every week. In fact, every time I thought about doing anything constructive, the ‘pleasures’ and ‘joy’ of drinking, partying and watching tv would just urge me to procrastinate even further.
You know your comfort zone… and it bugs you continually every time you reflect back on a wasted year.
I encourage you to go ahead and ‘give up’ a few things in order to ‘go up’.
5. Live A Balanced Life…
You would have probably noticed from my life goals and bucket list that I am big on balance. Life is an incredible journey and we really need to enjoy the ride (tough and challenging as it may be sometimes).
It’s the challenges, the fear and the series of tests that fuels a lot of procrastination.
When things aren’t going according to plan, it’s so easy to retreat into your ‘normal’ life.
I’ve since learned that being a multi-dimensional person who keeps fit, spends time with family and friends, believes in a higher being goes a long way in battling procrastination.
When things don’t go according to plan in my business, I know that God has a much better plan because he is wiser. When frustration creeps in, I de-stress in the gym or by being out on the road doing my runs and listening to my favourite music.
Likewise, when things don’t go according to plan with my gym or running, I can read my bible and get all the great promises about my life. Alternatively, I can spend time with family or friends and we can share our frustrations and encourage one another.
Ultimately, I know that I should never focus on what isn’t working or going according to plan. As soon as I do that, I expose myself to procrastination.
That’s my encouragement to you – never focus on what’s not working. Like, what’s the point of that? Rather, focus on what IS working and ride those waves of disappointment, frustration, temporary failure and you’ll soon find yourself taking charge of that horrible beast called ‘procrastination’.
I really hope you have enjoyed this article and found value in it.
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