Today I want to teach you how to get out of the habit of procrastination.
My life absolutely changed when I stopped procrastinating.
First, I’m going to share with you the number one issue with procrastination that you’re probably not even aware is happening. Next, I’m going to give you some insight as to the true cause of procrastination. You may be shocked to learn that it’s actually not your fault. Lastly, I’m going to share with you a simple activity that’ll help you knock procrastination out.
As I said above my life totally changed when I tackled my procrastinating habits of putting everything off until later. I’m going to share with you the two, not just one, but two big issues with procrastination.
Number one, it’s still taking up your energy.
All of those things that you think about but you aren’t doing….You think it’s not taking up any of your energy but it actually is! Because everything that crosses your mind that you come back to over and over and over is actually hurting your energy. It’s taking energy away from what could be applied to creating.
When I realized that everything that I think about on a consistent basis takes energy from me, I actually started getting rid of a lot of stuff.
I had a storage unit that I’d had for many, many years. I didn’t even know what all was in there but it kept coming up from time to time in my mind. You know what? If something isn’t serving my purpose or bringing me joy, I don’t want it.
I went the weekend I realized this to the storage unit and I sorted everything. Kept a few things but donated a tractor trailer full of stuff that I hadn’t used or wanted in five years. What’s interesting is I felt so good about that, that I started tackling other stuff.
There were things that I just accumulated over the years. I had 10 humongous boxes of books and I don’t think I’d opened any of them since I’ve been hauling them around for decades. “Why do I need these things?” Yes, they’re great books, but I don’t need them so I donated them. I think I have maybe eight books at my house now but these are eight books I actually want, they bring me energy, I enjoy them, I may actually open them, not the other ones and so I got rid of that stuff.
Whatever you’re thinking about that isn’t serving, you get rid of it. Make some space.
Second reason that procrastination is bad, is it’s hurting your own integrity.
The more things that you say you’re going to do or think that you want to do but don’t do, hampers you. It actually makes you believe in yourself less and less and less.
There’s a lot of things that are outside of our control that may hurt our belief in ourselves such as things that happen to us in the past or trauma or parents or whatever, this is something we can actually control.
So if you’re someone that’s saying “man, I really need to quit smoking.” Either stop smoking or smoke the hell out of it.
Stop feeling bad about what you’re not doing. Get rid of that and if you get rid of that, you’re going to gain energy and you’re going to feel better about yourself.
What is the true cause of procrastination?
The true cause of procrastination (I liken this to the same issue it is with consistency) is drawing the wrong conclusion to success.
Again, I see procrastination as being very closely associated with why people aren’t consistent. It comes from drawing the wrong conclusion to success (whatever that means to you). Now when I say success, I don’t necessarily mean financial success. It means the successful completion of that task or that theme that you’re meaning to do.
I remember something that was very eye-opening to me. I was reading a book by Marianne Williamson and she talked about (I have a six-year-old daughter) how sometimes when little girls are starting to develop and they sit on daddy’s lap and it’s become awkward…well some will draw the conclusion that the change in their body created a change in their relationship with their father. They’ll actually start to hate their body.
Your procrastination about losing weight or exercising or whatever may be conflicting with a program that you created that’s actually very meaningful to you. If you create the conclusion that my body created a divide between me and my father, you may have a sabotage issue that is causing your procrastination.
This is the same thing in people who have unfortunately been sexually abused. A lot of people who were sexually abused, draw the conclusion “if I’m not in great shape, if I’m not pretty, if I’m not this, I’m not that;” then I don’t run that risk again.
No one does this consciously, this is on the subconscious level. This is on a level in the back of the head that’s preventing consistency, that’s preventing procrastination.
Now, there’s a million other examples around this, but understand that it may not be that you’re lazy. It may mean that you have a deep seated program around the successful completion of that thing that you keep putting off.
Look at that thing that you want and if it’s something that is beneficial to you, start being more defiant (I’m going to get into that in our final step).
I want to share with you a simple step that will help you with not procrastinating.
This comes from a friend of ours, Mel Robbins. Mel Robbins wrote the book called The Five Second Rule and no not drop food on the floor and then eat it before five seconds. The five second rule is a very simple method that she created and coined to get you into action.
Now first before we go there, I want you to tap into something called courage. A lot of people they seek confidence.
Confidence is different than courage.
Courage is something in the moment that you can tap into from wherever you’ve been.
Confidence is something you have because you’ve done something so many times.
I am now confident with dancing with my wife. I’ve been doing it for a little bit. I am not confident on the trapeze but could I tap into courage to go do it? I could. Right? I could if there’s a net that will save my life. But there’s a difference between tapping in and desiring confidence which is something you just have, versus courage in the moment. Mel Robbins’s action step really taps into that.
The five second rule is when you feel that feeling that you need to do something, you feel that feeling and then you just count down five, four, three, two, one, you do that thing.
Now, I know that sounds funny but let me give you some examples.
Before I knew this rule, I did something a little different. There is a quote that I heard from Larry Bird. Larry Bird said at a championships that he sunk the free throws that won the game. A reporter asked him “hey, how’d you do that?” “How did you stay so calm” and he said “I don’t feel pressure, I only see opportunity.” So that’s a phrase that I kind of built into my mind. When I would have that kind of moment, I would tap into that phrase and I would go do the thing I needed to do.
I remember when I was in mortgages and I’m sitting at a Ruby Tuesday. I’m not making any money. I want to make money! There was a table of of professionals and all dressed up nice and everything and I had the thought “man, I should go introduce myself” but that scared the holy hell out of me. I tapped into that that message (which you could tap into that message or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go do it)and I went and did it. I introduced myself and they were so impressed. One of them even offered me a job. Kind of cool, right?
When you start tapping into this, I’m gonna go do that thing I’m afraid of right now, you will gain self-worth. You will feel better about yourself. You’ll believe in yourself more and of course you start to accomplish the things that you actually want.
Another example is that in the last year and a half, I’ve lost 30 pounds. I have been able to keep it off and am feeling great. Came home one day and there’s my enemy in the refrigerator. My wife had bought amazing pizza from our very favorite place and not only is it pizza, it’s leftover pizza. Oh my god like that’s my favorite thing in the world. I looked at it and I thought I should throw this away. Five, four, three, two, one, I threw it away. I knew if it sat there for a minute longer, I would eat it.
This simple action step…..you know when you have that calling.
You know when you should pick up the phone and forgive somebody.
You know when you should put that cigarette down or the birthday cake down.
Whatever it is that you have your goals aligned with and need to do, when you feel that feeling of what you should do…….5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Mel Robbins style and then go and do it.
If you’re really serious about changing your life, improving your finances, your relationships….you may have interest in our best-selling book Time, Money, Freedom, published by Hay House. It’s on Amazon, we have it on audible, kindle…every format that you could want. It is my wife and I’s 10 rules to radically reshape your life.
I think it’ll really help you out if you struggle with procrastination or if you just struggle with coming up with goals. This will help teach you how to change your life and I think you’ll love it.
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