When it comes to time management, the number one thing that people ask me to solve is Procrastination. But what exactly is procrastination? Quite simply:
Procrastination is choosing to do things that give us pleasure over the things that don’t.
Yes, it’s as simple as that. We put off the things that are too hard, that are unclear or that we don’t value. So let’s wind things back a little to the genesis: the “Why”.
Simon Sinek wrote a brilliant book called “Start With Why”. I remember when I first read this book it blew my mind. When you follow your purpose in life, everything falls into place. It’s about understanding what sits behind that gut instinct. When you can tap into your purpose, when you have a clear reason for doing something, it’s obviously going to be more motivating to do it. Sinek actually shows how businesses can inspire their entire organisation into action or shift their marketing approach to inspire their customer’s to buy. It’s fascinating.
Read more: What I learnt from Simon Sinek
DOES IT FLOAT YOUR BOAT?
Let’s be honest here, do you really care? Is this task you are putting off have great value for you? Dr. John Demartini has mastered the art of discovering the hidden core values of his clients. He’s worked with people frustrated by debilitating dysfunction in one form or another (such as depression, learning challenges, grief etc.). Yet has been able to transform people’s lives, purely by harnessing the power of values.
Our values are like a compass, pulling us in a direction. For me, I value organisation, so I will seek to organize things before anything else. For example, I’ll have an immaculately organised database before I actually pick up the phone to make a sales call. Rest assured, if we value it, we’re going to be damn well good at it. We love it, so we do it over and over and get good at it. And we love it because we’re good at it. Whatever comes easy to us, we’ll do. The secret? Find a way to link your highest value with the thing you don’t want to do.
IT’S ALL TOO HARD
But, oh dear, here comes the hard thing. I’ll just do this easy fun thing I enjoy first. Is it confusing? Is it difficult? Are you unclear? Sometimes we’ll put off things, because we’re not sure what we need to do, or what we need to do first. If you can break a project down into clear actionable steps that you can prioritize in a sensible order, the elephant is much easier to eat.
You can eat and elephant, one mouthful at a time. Once you have clarity, the project becomes easier.
You can also read: Tips on How to Eliminate Procrastination