This week’s Pearl of Leadership Wisdom is on….
Procrastination – Part II – Solution to
“We are destined to suffer from one of two pains – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” – Jim Rohn
This advice on how to overcome procrastination is for those with “normal” levels of it. If you really never start anything ever, go and see a doctor, unless you are a goldfish for whom this is normal.
Ok – so what to do?
Set goals and achieve them. That’s it. Dead simple.
…can write a goal. It’s the achievement that’s a bit tougher. So to increase your chances of success, make sure it’s your goal, not your partner’s, children’s or society’s.
The good, the bad and the ugly…
Get motivated by going through all the good stuff that happens when you achieve your goal, and all the bad stuff avoided. Bad stuff avoided is better – we take more action to avoid pain than to get pleasure. We’ll come back to bad stuff.
Be accountable – it’s you that’s doing it and nobody cares about your pressures, childcare, lack of money or any other externality that you have chosen to blame in order to avoid the pain of discipline. Find a way. Overcome. Avoid regret.
Goal-directed action – is there another kind?
Know what your key activities are to achieve your goal and do them with maximum prejudice – anything or anyone who gets in your way will feel your wrath, unless you’re sleeping with them, sired them, gave birth to them or they fit in some other extremely limited group, and even then…. remember you are the most important person in your life. That’s not selfishness. It’s the truth.
Now, the really bad stuff…
The quote above by Jim Rohn, an American writer, puts a lump in my throat. The pain of regret. I’m not sure I can think of anything worse. The massive, self-inflicted pain of regret. Yet we procrastinate. Why? Because the pain of discipline, although small, is here, right now. Whereas the pain of regret, although massive, is in the future.
But when you feel the pain of regret it is too late to do anything about it. And I don’t think I could bear that. So I’m not going to.
This time it’s personal…
Choose a goal now. No – call it a promise. Make a promise to do something. Something you can do in one week, that you’ve been putting off. Decide what the first step is. Put it in your diary. Guard that time with your life and when the time comes, take the step and schedule the next step.
“I promise myself that by this time next week I will……”
Avoid the pain of regret.