Sunday, September 6th was National Fight Procrastination Day. Why do we procrastinate?
The most common answer I get from people is that the thing they say they want to do is hard or uncomfortable. Even though they know it may be good for them, they procrastinate beginning.
Why should we undertake hard tasks?
I've learned this: You get to have either hard-easy or easy-hard. And what I mean by that is often when we choose to do the easy thing now, we set ourselves up for a harder existence later on.
Take your health as an example, we pay for our health now or later, but we will pay.
We all know we should exercise, but we put it off. in which case, we are choosing easy/hard.
Meaning, it is easy to sit on the couch and watch TV and eat potato chips, and the hard part comes later with possible poor health, diabetes, and heart disease.
Hard/easy would be to get out of bed, put the exercise clothes on, go out and walk or drive to the gym, push yourself, sweat and have sore muscles the next day. In this case we are choosing to do the hard thing now, with better health later.
There is a psychological term called approach avoidance conflict.
It basically means you want to do this thing but it's hard and so we come up with a lot of reasons not to begin.
I had a client once who said he wanted to begin exercising. He knew there were benefits for him to exercise and lose weight, but yet, he found himself being a couch potato more than putting on his shoes and going for a walk.
The easy thing to do now was to avoid exercising. I told him to take out his checkbook and write me a check for $5.000.
I put the check in a file and told him that I was helping him to keep his promise to himself. He needed to walk a mile a day for the next 21 days and then the check would be returned to him. If he didn’t, I would cash the check.
I knew he could walk a mile a day, he just needed to be motivated and this would motivate him.
He really wanted to make sure he wouldn’t lose the $5,000.00 so he set three alarms on his watch to make sure his exercise was done.
There was one busy day where he called his date and postponed an hour to make sure he got his walk in before he went out. Something happened, and I knew it would, he began to enjoy his walks, he began to look forward to them. And, with 21 days under his belt, he knew he could do it.
He learned to schedule exercise time in his calendar and get it done.
The hard thing became easy, especially as the walk became easier, and he began experiencing some of the benefits of the exercise.
Whatever it is that you have been procrastinating:
1. Give yourself a motivator to change your routine and begin doing the hard thing now.
2. Schedule the time in your calendar. Give yourself a start and a stop time.
3. Hire a coach who will help you to find ways to do the hard things that will make your life better today. Schedule a call with one of our coaches at www.drpauljenkins.com/breakthroughcall.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”