Procrastination is a “disease” that affects most people on a daily basis. In our previous article How Procrastination Impacts Financial Independence, it is noted that if ignored, procrastination can hamper your ability to achieve your goals.
You must have heard the words “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”. Well, this isn’t too far off from the truth wouldn’t you agree?
Given that procrastination is the simple act of delaying stuff that should be done now, for later, the easiest way to nip it in the butt is by starting!
As shown on Fig 1.0, people tend to start with guilt. “Oh nooo, I was supposed to have submitted the tax returns of my business today but I don’t think I could right now,will do later”. Next you start panicking- “Oh my goodness, my business is going to get fined by the authorities if my submission is late”. And then you’ll say something like; “If I wasn’t busy with renovations, I would probably have done it immediately”. And lastly; “I shall do it later when I am done with the renovation works.I would probably have more time on my hands”.
These excuses are all a recipe for disaster!
Follow these steps to stop procrastination.
Sometimes we could get really hurt as a result of procrastination. In the example above,all the business owner needed to do was, halt the renovations for a minute and sort out tax declarations.
Moreover procrastination can be managed if these simple steps are followed;
Step 1- Set Goals
Goals are the things you will like to achieve in a particular time frame. However, most people fail to ensure that their goals are SMART.
For example, you may have a business goal to make 100k in income by the end of that financial year period. This therefore means that you have to organise advertising, partnerships, sales, diversification and much more. You have to do all these things within a particular time frame, given that the financial year is limited to 12 months. You can therefore not afford to put things off for later, at least, if your goal is really dear to you.
Read more on about goal setting on the potential life changing 30 Days test article.
When you set goals and even go further to create a vision board, you are unlikely to slip into the procrastination trap.
Step 2- Prioritizing your activities.
It is absolutely crucial to determine what needs to be done in 24 hours, in a week, in months or in the year. Economists call it the scale of preference. Simply write down everything that needs doing in order of urgency and importance.
For example, if your business needs new furniture, a pay rise for staff, settling taxes, launching a new product, or organising sales, etc. You must write every single item down. After which you must proceed to plan exactly when to do what. Perhaps the taxes come first on the 15th of the month, and then a pay rise at the end of that same month.
It is important to have at the back of your mind, that setting the right priorities will change your life!
Prioritizing stuff will mitigate the risk of delaying or putting urgent stuff off for later!
Step 3- Time Management.
A wise man once said; “time is the one free gift given equally to every single human on earth”. This leads to the question; Why then are some people rich and others are poor, given that we all have 24 hours a day?
The simple truth is that, making the best use of your time will determine the quality of the life you have.
To make the most out of your day and to boost your chances of success, you must determine what you do during every single hour of the day. Find out what time management can do to help you defeat procrastination. It is recommended to download and undertake the time management exercise at the bottom of this article.
Step 4- Developing Self discipline.
After everything is said and done, without self discipline, procrastination will eventually become a terminal disease.
Imagine a scenario where you buy all the equipment needed to start your business, set the goal you want to achieve, prioritise what should be done, determine what time to action them, and yet achieve very little. You can have the best running shoes in the world, but you never get to run. You need to be disciplined to do the things that need doing. Start with the small things and forge on to achieve the big ones. At the end of the day, your self-development is no one else’s responsibility but yours.
Step 5- Just Start.
Starting is usually the hardest part, but once you do and keep at it, everything will fall into place. If you imagine the entire life cycle of creation, you will develop the confidence needed to plant your mustard seed and watch it grow into a tree.
All you need to do is imagine what it takes to grow your business. Starting is the one and only thing you need to do at every given step of your financial independence journey!
According to studies, 20 percent of adults struggle with focusing on task and completing them within the deadline. However, this is a situation that can be managed or mitigated if goals are set, stuff are prioritised, time is properly managed, self discipline is practice, and activities are JUST STARTED!