Mark Twain knew procrastinators would appreciate the humor when he said: "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." And so, the day after tomorrow soon becomes the busiest day of our week.
Procrastination plagues most of us and is one of the things that clearly has a negative effect on our overall success in business, work and life. It is hard to conquer because we often procrastinate taking steps to solve the problem.
However, if putting things off is leading to decreased productivity, anxiety, missed deadlines and opportunities, then now is the time to change. It is not impossible to overcome. Remembering these famous quotes can make a big difference in overcoming procrastination.
* "To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing." -- Eva Young
Thinking and planning can certainly help you achieve your goals but too much of it can have the opposite effect. If we wait until everything is just right, we'll never begin. The key to getting ahead is getting started. Think and plan a little and then start doing.
* "Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible." -- George Claude Lorimar
The longer you put something off, the worse it grows in your mind. Little things can become Godzillas that threaten to destroy everything. Face tasks now before they get blown out of proportion.
* "Do the hard jobs first and the easy jobs will almost take care of themselves." -- Dale Carnegie
When you start your day tackling the toughest jobs, you will feel relieved, relaxed and good about yourself. The rest of the day will be a lot lighter and easier to move through. Get the hardest task of the day out of the way.
* "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Don't think that waiting will make the staircase shorter. Taking on an overwhelming task or project can stop us in our tracks. Break it down into something smaller and more easily accomplished. Take that all- important first step.
* "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." -- William James
List all unfinished tasks or projects and prioritize them. Work to finish important projects that are closest to completion. Resist the urge to jump to another task. A lot of stress comes from not finishing what you've started. Finish it and then move on.
There's an old joke that the members of Procrastinators Anonymous keep meaning to meet ... but keep putting it off. Millions of us are members of this group.
So, what do we do? Do anything! Do something! Do it now!
The good news is that by using the above strategies, you can kick this paralyzing habit and achieve your dreams. If you have a dream and procrastinate, nothing happens. If you have a dream and act, anything is possible.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.