When it comes to procrastination you can either beat yourself up about it or realize that everyone procrastinates. Here’s why.
[00:00:00] Hey guys it’s Jonathan and welcome. Listen today I want to talk about why we procrastinate.We All
We All Procrastinate
[00:00:08] First thing is that we all procrastinate. OK, everybody does. The truth is that if you the only way you don’t procrastinate is if you don’t have any goals you don’t have any ambition to be or do or have more than what you have now. If you think about it, if you wiped out anything every you every ambition you ever had you wouldn’t be procrastinating. You just be kind of hanging out. Right. You wouldn’t have much of a life. But the truth is, is that anybody who has a goal to be more do more have more, they have aspirations. They’re going to now have to prioritize what it is they want to do. Right.
Even The Most Productive People Are Procrastinators
[00:00:49] So what happens is some of the most productive people I know are procrastinators. And what happens is we tend to look at those people whether you see them online you see them on TV or read a book about them like you think like, wow those guys are amazing they must never procrastinate. The truth is, everybody procrastinates, and what happens is we get in these funks where we think, if only I knew their secret, then I would be better. And that’s not really the case because they don’t have necessarily a secret. They’re dealing with their own procrastination as well.
You Lack Clarity
[00:01:24] The number one cause of procrastination is lack of clarity. If you think about it, if you have this goal, this thing you want to accomplish and you’re putting it off. Really. The reason you’re putting it off is because you are not clear on either the outcome., or the process with which to make that goal happen. Right, so you put it off a little bit. Let’s think about something that most people deal with it’s like you know they want to workout or they want to lose some weight. And they know there’s this thing that they shouldn’t be eating but they’re eating it anyway. And what happens is that that they’re not fully clear on what it is that this thing that they’re eating is causing them. Either that you know like for me I love having a Pepsi or love having a Coke. It’s just my it’s my that it makes me feel good it brings back all these memories and a lot of times procrastination is just that it’s a stress reliever. It’s something that you know that by not doing it or by doing something that’s keeping the goal from happening, it makes us feel good. It may relieve stress or it may be something we’re just putting off because we’re not fully clear about what this what this doing or not doing is causing us. If you’re clear about your outcome there’s very rarely procrastination. Because when you’re clear, you’re excited. You’re excited about this thing that’s about to happen. You’re about to do. And so you you do it because you’ve got so much clarity that this thing that you’re supposed to be doing trumps all these other things that you think you should be doing. Right.
When You’re Not Clear Things Move To Second Place
[00:03:09] When you’re not clear, that thing that you should be doing is now below all these other things. You may be cleaning the house. You may be doing the laundry. You may be watching the movie. You maybe turning on the TV on instead of doing that thing you want to do because right now that thing that you’re unclear of is at the bottom of the pile.
You Always Have a Really Good Reason To Procrastinate
[00:03:28] And the crazy thing about it is that you always have a really good reason to procrastinate. Right you always have a really good reason. When you think about it because you’re not doing it, for a reason. And the trick is you have to become clear as to what that reason is. OK. Now this takes some time. It takes some thinking it takes some introspection is like OK wait a second, what am I unclear about? Why am I putting this off? Why am I doing these other things on top of or in front of that thing that I really think I should be doing? And that is the key word it’s “should”. Procrastination comes around “shoulds”. I should be mowing the lawn. I should be working out. I should be spending more time with my significant other. I should be sending that e-mail to that person I’ve been thinking about for a while. I should be. You name it. Whatever’s behind a “should” is that thing that you’re not fully clear on. So take some time and get clear. Get clear about what it is you want. Get clear about what it is you don’t want. Right?
Make a Don’t Want List To Get Clear
[00:04:41] Because sometimes having our don’t want list is just as powerful as having our do want list. But just remember this. Everybody procrastinates. Everybody who has goals and ambitions procrastinates. We tend to compare our inside, to somebody else’s outside. Right? You can read about Richard Branson who’s a billionaire and has all these companies and think MY GOD. Richard Branson never procrastinates! You know what, he does. Right. And some of the most successful people that I know procrastinate. Business owners, athletes, they put off all the time! A lot of athletes I grew up with, you know, they’re working out, then they need they know they should be at the gym, but they’d rather sit on the couch. So everybody procrastinates. Don’t beat yourself up over it and just find out what’s behind your “shoulds”. Make a list of things that you’re…become aware of what you’re putting off and then develop some courage to take action on those things. And we’ll talk about courage in other video.
Share This With Someone Who Needs To Hear It
[00:05:43] Thanks for watching. If this helps you. All right. You know somebody who needs to hear it. Please share this with them. I would appreciate it. They would appreciate you doing that as well. And I’ll see you next week. Cheers.
As an Olympic athlete in a timed event I know one very important thing about a ticking clock…
It won’t stop ticking.
Time is like grabbing water. The harder you squeeze it the more it slips away. And while people like to think they can “manage” time, they can’t. They can only “manage” what they do within that time.
Back in the 1990’s Stephen Covey got us all to think that we could drastically manage our time. With A tasks and B tasks and C tasks, etc. we were taught that if we just put the days tasks into nice little To-do lists that we’d be fine.
And while it’s nice to think that we can manage time we really can only manage ourselves and what it is we do with our time.
Frustration comes when time slips by and we haven’t really completed anything that we feel is valuable to the goals we feel we should be achieving.
So how do we make sure we’re achieving what it is we truly want?
Decide What It is You Truly Want To Achieve:
You may have a big project you are completing for your J-O-B but what you really want to be doing is feeding starving children in Africa. That’s fine. But don’t confuse your achievement goal at work with the achievement goal that is truly in your heart. If you ignore that for too long you’ll end up with all sorts of issues from chronic pain to colitis.
Complete a Brain Dump of Everything That Is On Your Mind:
Part of what makes us feel so stressed and scattered and not “in the moment” is a feeling that we are forgetting something. When everything you have to do from picking up your kids after school to organizing your garage is pulling at you attention, it leads to feelings of incompleteness and when you feel incomplete you feel stress.
I keep a Google Doc on my phone that syncs with…well…everything, that is called 1 Brain Dump. It’s first on the list and when I think of something I need to be, do, or have, it goes on that list for later processing into an appropriate project. This way I never lose an idea and I never feel like I have some open loop hanging somewhere. Getting it all out of your head and onto a list that you trust is one way to get a picture of everything that’s on your mind.
Choose One Thing To Take Action On That Helps Fulfill Step #1
We will not go into great detail here about how to organize the list you created in Step #2, but for now you should see something on your list that jumps out at you that you should do…right now.
Do THAT thing.
Because if you don’t do THAT thing you’ll feel incomplete. It will nag and pull at your psyche until it’s done. You know you should do it. You’ll feel better once you do it. And doing that ONE thing will make you feel…better.
It’s the beginning of something great, and it’s the beginning of managing what you DO within the time that you have.
You will only feel good about the time you have to manage when you start managing what you do in the time you have.
Use This Article In Your Newsletter or Website:
You can use this article as long as you include this complete statement with it:
“Olympian – Jonathan Edwards is a leading authority on self-esteem, time management, peak performance and success. If you’re ready to take your life to a world-class level, feel more fulfilled, have better health, and have more fun in everything that you do, sign up for his free “You. Just Better!” success tips and his 10-Day Transformation Challenge at www.TheHighPerformanceYou.com”
If you’re going to be successful in anything, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen.
But if your focus on the end result then you might not get started at all.
Why? Because when you only focus on the end result it can seem really overwhelming. It seems that there are so many variables. So many things to do. And so many things to go wrong.
But if you just focus on the next step, it seems possible. All you really need to believe is that you can do that one next step. Maybe it’s to make a phone call to call a potential partner. Or invest in a course. Or write the first page of that book that’s been in your head.
So to get started and to develop world-class self-confidence here are Five tips that can help.
All great ideas start out as a little idea that “seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Countless business, athletic, philanthropic, and other successful ideas first started out as a small good idea. Facebook started as a way to meet women. Toms Shoes was an idea to put shoes on people feet who didn’t have any. Look at Richard Branson and ANY of the Virgin businesses.
They all started out as just little ideas that seemed good at the time.
So whatever your idea is, believe in it. Believe that the idea is for you and you only. It’s in YOUR heart for a reason and it’s up to YOU to take action on it.
Step 2: Choose To Believe In You
Think of your goals and dreams like a seed that falls on the ground. If it falls on the pavement it dies. But if it falls on fertile ground then it has the potential to grow.
You are that fertile ground.
Why you? It doesn’t matter. Your job isn’t to ask “Why you?” it’s to ask “how you!” How can you take this idea and make it happen? What’s the next step? That’s the only place you need to focus.
Believing in yourself is an attitude that you can develop over time like a muscle. You may not be able to lift that heavy weight today, but you can lift it with practice, over time. All you need to do is lift a lighter weight today.
The truth is that you can do anything with progression. It’s true. You can do anything is you just set your mind to it. You don’t have to see the entire picture right now, you just need to believe that the idea is in you for a reason and that you have everything you need to take the next step.
Step 3: Use Visualization and Self-Talk Yourself Into Your Idea
There are lots of people out there who will tell you that you can’t do something. Your friends, your parents, your teachers. Even your own mind will bring up negative thoughts and pictures for you to dwell on.
It’s ok. We all deal with that even today.
It’s true. Just because people are successful in life doesn’t mean that the negative thoughts go away. They might be less than what you experience, but they are still there. The secret is to talk over those negative ideas with positive thoughts and pictures.
The truth is that if you focus on what you want to have happen then that is the picture in your minds eye. With enough positive self-talk and proper coaching and practice you can do anything you set your mind to.
Step 4: Stop Saying “I Can’t”
If there is anything that will suck the life out of you it’s the words “I can’t”
The truth is you can do the things you set your mind to. And if you believe you can you can. If you believe you can’t then you probably won’t.
Saying the words “I can’t” can make you physically weaker. It can cause you to do the wrong things or worse, nothing at all.
Saying “I can’t” gives the brain the excuse to shut down it’s natural problem solving talents and abilities. Your brain is a goal seeking and problem solving machine and when you say, “I can’t” it says, “Well, since you said so, I guess I’ll stop trying.”
Instead of saying, “I can’t” change it with the words, “I presently struggle with…” I do this with all of my athlete clients and my corporate clients. When they say, “I can’t do that.” I get them to say, “I presently strugle with…” and their brain then shifts to “Well, since I just presently struggle with that thing, how can I overcome the struggle?” and then they are back on solution track and not the never-going-to-happen track.
Step 5: What Others Think Of You Is Their Problem and Not Yours
You don’t need others to believe in your dream. To be honest, that idea you have, that goal, the thing in your heart landed there for a reason: It’s not going to work anywhere else!
Just like a baby bird needs to fight it’s way out of it’s own shell to develop the strength to fly, you too need to fend off the non-believers who are more than happy to tell you why you can’t do something.
What they think of your goals doesn’t matter. And most of the time the people whose opinions you are worried about aren’t think of you anyway. So take the time that you worry about what others think and say about you and spend it on things that will get you closer to achieving your goals.
Bonus Tip: Keep A Win Log
What little wins have you had in your life?
No matter who you are I know that you’ve had successes in your past life and I want you to make a list of them. It’s important to revisit the little victories you’ve had in your life because they are the springboards to bigger victories in your life.
When I competed in the Olympics, no one gave me the skills to move beyond that. People would tell me, “Nothing you do in your life is ever going to compare to what you did in the OLYMPICS!!” And I thought, “Well isn’t that going to be boring.”
The truth is that no matter what you’ve done in the past, good or bad, these are the stepping stones to future greatness in your life. But it took me a really long time to figure that out. The Olympics was just a stepping stone in my life and there are experiences in your life that work the same way.
For a child who learns to tie their shoes it’s just the beginning. We don’t tell them, “Learning how to tie your shoes is the GREATEST thing you’re going to do in your life!” NO! We tell them, look what you accomplished! That’s just the beginning! And on they go.
But somewhere along the way we lose track of the little victories in our lives. We marginalize ourselves and think that the accomplishments we’ve made in the past aren’t worthy of our praise anymore. It’s simply not true.
Get out a sheet of paper and write down a list of your past victories. My wife puts down giving birth naturally to both of our kids as a victory! (And I wholeheartedly agree with her! 🙂 )
Practice Maximum Self-Confidence
Take a moment to visualize yourself with all of the confidence you need to achieve what it is that you want.
Are you looking to run a marathon? Ask your boss for a raise? Not snap at your kids when they ask for an ice cream AGAIN! Just visualize yourself performing as you want, when you want. See it happening in your mind’s eye. Now feel what it would feel like having performed your best in that situation. Can you see yourself putting down the cookie (or not buying it at all?). See your boss as he considers that raise request. See your child sulk and pout when you tell them no to that umpteenth request for the ice cream.
When you can see it happening in your mind, you now have the potential to seeing it in your life. It’s just the beginning.
Use This Article In Your Newsletter or Website:
You can use this article as long as you include this complete bio with it:
“Olympian – Jonathan Edwards is a leading authority on self-esteem, time management, peak performance and success. If you’re ready to take your life to a world-class level, feel more fulfilled, have better health, and have more fun in everything that you do, sign up for his free “You. Just Better!” success tips and his 10-Day Transformation Challenge at www.JonEdwards.rocks”