Procrastination sabotages your future. When you were a kid, time appeared to be limitless. There was no risk in putting things off until later. You had all the time in the world. As you grew older, you began to realize your original outlook was faulty. Time definitely is finite.
Although your understanding changed, the habit of putting things off remained an engrained habit. You continue to utilize the strategy of using someday as a goal for accomplishments. The flaw in this approach is that there is no deadline or sense of urgency so there’s no real incentive to get started .
An impending deadline is a great motivator. It can even create a sense of emergency. You rush to get things done because you fear the consequences of not doing so. If there is no deadline, chances are nothing will ever be accomplished.
You rarely put things off you are excited about. It's those tasks you don't want to do, don't like doing, are too difficult, or you just don't know where to start, that are postponed to some unidentifiable point in the future. Fear of failure is another excuse used when putting things off. The regrets people have later in life are all of those things they never did, not those things that may not have worked out as planned.
Whatever your goals may be, nothing will happen until you make it happen. The best way to accomplish this is by redefining "someday" to mean "today." Your goals for today are much more likely to be accomplished than your aspirations for someday.
Even a task that cannot be completed today can be started today. Taking action, even one small step, no matter how small, is essential to breaking through the wall of procrastination. Forward movement is amazingly powerful. It gets you off the sidelines and on the road to success.
One effective action strategy is working on a task for just 15 minutes today. Don't worry about how much or how little you will accomplish. You can devote 15 minutes to anything you have been putting off.
Once you get started, you must keep your momentum going. Develop a timeline with specific dates and measurable accomplishments. This process establishes concrete deadlines to maintain your motivation.
Next, you need to identify and remove any roadblocks that have gotten in your way or will inhibit your progress. There are no obstacles which cannot be overcome. Every problem has a solution. Instead of making excuses, find the solutions.
Another anchor that prevents forward movement is worry. Worry is a waste of time and energy. You fret over what has happened, what is happening, or what may happen. Regardless of how intently you worry, nothing positive will be accomplished. Replace worry with action. Take whatever steps are necessary to bring about your desired outcome.
Do you have goals? What are they? Today is the time to identify your objectives. Don't put it off any longer. If you haven't given this much thought, start now. Identify your likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. Where would you like to be? What would you like to do?
Today is your someday. Life is not a practice run. Start working on those issues you have been putting off. Until you become proactive, nothing happens. You don't want to be in a position where you look back years from now and lament all those things you didn't do because you put them off. Today is tomorrow's yesterday. Start things today so you won't regret putting them off tomorrow.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden