By Mark Johnson
Have you ever gone through periods where you prefer to satisfy a short-term feeling rather than working on a task that will benefit you in the long term? Of course, you have...after all, we're all human. Procrastination is natural, yet when it becomes a barrier to achieving our goals, that’s when it’s time to do something about it. Remember: You may delay, but time will not.
In his book, "The Science Of Overcoming Procrastination," Patrick King writes about mindset shifts, tactics and strategies proven to overcome this barrier to success. Here is the 4-step model:
1. Anti-Procrastination Mindsets
Get started! Once you start, it is much easier to keep going. So rather than waiting for the motivation to start, just do it and take one step forward.
Instead of waiting for your mood to confirm you “feel like it,” act first to activate your mood into an all-systems-go mode mindset. Start operating under the mindset that the right action inspires the right mood. The five words that kill more dreams than any other are, “I don’t feel like it!” So, act opposite your feelings. It’s a habit we all can develop.
2. Strategic Planning
To win over procrastination, you need to have an approach that serves you. When you plan your tasks well and set up your workload with intention, you will reduce the chances of slipping into procrastination.
Tell yourself that there's no more delaying the start of a project, and no more straying off task or getting tempted into engaging in unimportant activities. With intent and focus, you can structure things to set yourself up for productivity, efficiency and achievement. To assist you in this, here is the STING method:
Select one task
Ignore everything else
Give yourself a reward
3. Structuring Against Procrastination
A "zero day" is a day which you’ve let slip by without doing anything to achieve your goals. Aim for no more “zero days.”
Here are four questions to ask yourself to overcome procrastination the next time it tugs at you:
“What is holding me back from getting started?”
“What is one thing I can do to get started?”
"What are my top three priorities today?”
“How can I make this easier?”
4. Taking action
If there's one thing I know about success, it is to take action now. Consider this: we rarely get to choose when something happens to us. We do, however, get to decide when and what action to take. If you find yourself questioning this thought, the time to act is now.
Try the 10-10-10 method. The next time you feel you’re about to give in to temptation, stop and ask yourself: How will I feel in 10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days from now? This method is effective because it forces you to think specifically about your future self, and how this action or lack of action will help you be better or worse.
“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.” —Alexander Graham Bell
One of the keys to overcoming procrastination is finding aspects of each task that you can care about. It’s all a matter of perspective. Since no one else’s reasons or persuasions can make you get to work, you create your reasons for doing a task. Look for aspects in it that you enjoy or show you what makes it worthwhile.
Mark Johnson is the CEO of JPAR Real Estate, a rapidly growing full-service transaction-based brokerage; the host of “Success Superstars,” a weekly show that highlights the blueprint of agent success; and the co-founder of CoRecruit. He has invested decades in understanding the inner workings of high-performing real estate companies, managers, teams and their leaders in major markets across the world.