Why do we procrastinate when there is no time like the present? It's either fear or frustration. Pick your poison. It matters not.
As we have discussed previously, doing does it. No matter where your procrastination originates, now is the time that will forever separate the doers from the idlers. With all the bad news that continually invades our consciousness, no wonder we are frozen in fear and mired in procrastination. Our world is evolving at record speed. If we get off the train to sit idly by in fear, we may never be able to run fast enough to hop back aboard. Would you be happy stuck in the station you're sitting in now?
How can we board that train again? We have to consider whether it requires finding a new job, servicing existing clients better, looking for that right relationship, increasing sales, reducing costs, or maybe recycling.
First step: Turn off the TV and tune into yourself. Look into your heart and listen to your dreams. Stop attaching yourself to others' fear. There are lessons to be learned from this, the Easter and Passover season. Through adversity and great loss (jobs, houses, relationships) comes even greater opportunity. The Israelites could never go back and be the same as before they wandered the desert. Neither can you.
Second step: Make a list of all the stations your train needs to stop at before reaching your destination. Every project or recipe starts with an ingredient list. Often the list is shorter and simpler than you thought before you wrote it down. List each step and who, if anybody, should be with you on this journey. Don't go it alone. A buddy makes you accountable. A buddy keeps you company in the dark tunnels. More important, a buddy offers viewpoints you never would have thought of. If you have slowed down now is the time to get out and network, to help develop your list.
Final step: Often the toughest part of any project is getting started. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Taking it breaks the procrastination cycle. So do one thing (take one step) each day, first thing, before you tell yourself you can't. Reward yourself after each step.
Wander no more. Most projects are no more that 8-10 steps. If you do one each day, within two weeks your worst fears and frustrations will be transformed into your best completed projects. Accomplishment is more than its own reward. It builds upon itself, as you will soon see.
Julie Sue Auslander, M.Ed, WPO, WBE
President / Chief Cultural Officer
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