How to overcome procrastination and get things it

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“Do it now. Then it's done.” - Anonymous

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” - Karen Lamb

Think of the number of times and the number of items that have been put off doing, is it a lot? Is it things that are trivial or are they actually important things that have to be done?

We are all guilty of this. Putting things off long enough becomes habitual, we justify it by devaluing the importance of those things that ought to be done right away.

Sure, we put things off until the end of the day or until the end of the week. But are there things that you have been putting off too long?

Putting Things Off = Procrastinating

Putting things off is basically procrastinating, it is not doing what needs to be done. The quote at the beginning of this article embodies the discipline of getting things done, and that is to do it now and get it out of the way.

The rush to get it done

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” - Leonardo Da Vinci

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You know the story, you put off an important piece of work only to find yourself rushing to get it done a few days or even a few hours before the deadline. It creates stress, and rushed work is never quality

When I was working in a warehouse, I had to have a security check. In order for that to happen I had to give an account of what I was doing for the past three years.

On one of those years I was on benefits and living in Northern Ireland. I had to ring the office in Northern Ireland to request written proof that I was there and claiming benefits. However, I put this off as I though that I would do it eventually.

After a week or so the warehouse admin informed me that if my security check wasn't completed by the end of next week then I would be out of the job. Needless to say I was straight on the phone to Northern Ireland the moment I left work that day.

However when it came, the warehouse needed something else, it needed to be in a certain format, etc. All this made me very frustrated and stressful. Eventually I got it all done, but if I acted right from the start, I wouldn't have dealt with all that stress to get it all done in a short period of time.

From then on, I learnt to do tasks the moment they are given me.

Develop the 'Do It now' mentality.

“Do it now. Then it's done” - Anonymous

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Thinking about all the opportunities that have come and gone in my life, the key factor that determined whether I took advantage of those opportunities or not was whether I acted on them there and then.

Those opportunities that slipped by, they were the ones where I didn't act, the ones that I put it off, that I procrastinated on. Those things that we procrastinate on, they don't seem a big deal at the time, but looking in retrospect, they would've led to even bigger and better things.

This is the power of doing things now. The 'Do It Now' mentality. This mentality is aggressive by nature. It gets things done and moves on to the next task, gets that one done, moves on to the next task.

This is the mentality I want you to adopt. Be aggressive and get things done now. If you put it off, you fail. And you are not a failure, you are a winner.

Thomas Jefferson once said:

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

If we truly adopted the 'Do It Now' mindset, taking action like Thomas Jefferson did, then just think of what you could accomplish? You would write a to-do list and would actually know that you would do it, it would get done.

With this mindset we stop just dreaming about it, we start doing it. We make a plan and a to-do list and we get it done, one thing ticked off at a time.

Do things now. Don't procrastinate. You'll be amazed at how much gets done, and this aggressive mindset keeps you following through, ALL THE TIME, and as I wrote in my last article:

Success is a by-product of when you follow through

Not feeling it and doing it anyway

""How do I handle those days when I'm just not “feeling it"? … I GO ANYWAY. I GET IT DONE”- Jocko Willink, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual

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The last piece of the puzzle is to be able to conquer that state of mind where you are just not feeling it, you feel unmotivated and want to keep putting things off. But you do it anyway.

It's easy to get things done when you are motivated, when you are in the zone, however, there are times where we just don't feel like it, we'd rather not do anything. It is in those times where we must push through and do it anyway.

Consider if you always felt unmotivated and lethargic, you wouldn't get anything done. The trick here is to think of the end result, the feeling that you will get once you accomplishing that task, from knowing that you conquered lazy tendency and instead you got that task done.

I don't feel like doing it a lot of the time, however if I followed my feelings I wouldn't get anything done. It takes discipline to do the things that ought to be done and especially to do them when you are not feeling it.

Try getting out of bed at 5am when your body is screaming for you to just turn over!

When you put things off you will find that you are rushing to get them done. Get rid of this habit by developing a 'Do It Now' mindset and learn to get things done even when you're not feeling it.

This is an important key in success. The discipline to do things when you don't feel like doing it is the difference between someone who succeeds, and someone who doesn't.

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Consider applying this mindset in your life. Pick a task that you need to complete and commit to the following:

  • I will do it now;
  • I will follow through until this task is completed;
  • I will do this task, even when I feel like I don't want to do it.

These are three simple steps but if you follow them you will get things done, and most importantly, that feeling of gettings things done make you feel more confident and in control of your world.

Stop putting things off today, get it done and push through till you reach your dreams!

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