Saturday, October 21, 2017

How To Stop Procrastinating (When All Else Fails)

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Filed under Procrastination

What do you do when you’ve been procrastinating on your dream for weeks, months and even years?

Perhaps you want to finish writing your book or learn how to scuba dive or save money so that you can visit Europe.

You may have had these goals and dreams for years, but you are not any closer to fulfilling them.  How do you break the procrastination cycle?

Many of my coaching clients struggle with procrastination.  I have a number of techniques that usually help them.

However, if they continue procrastinating on fulfilling their dreams, I use what I call “The Emergency Procrastination Buster.” Here is how it works:

 

Imagine that you are 85 years old and on your deathbed. Your spouse, children, and grandchildren are gathered around your hospital bed. One of your children holds your hand and asks you a serious question. “Why didn’t you fulfill your dream?  Why didn’t you finish writing your book, learn how to fly a plane, etc.?

 

Imagine how sad and disappointed you feel as you look into your child’s face.  As a wise man once wrote:

 

“The saddest words of tongue or pen

Are these four words:

‘It might have been.’”  -Jack Greenleaf Whittier

 

Mr. Greenleaf’s words are so true.  Few things in life are as painful as the feeling of regret and disappointment with one’s self. As you vividly imagine this sad scene, you will gain motivation to put aside your excuses and start pursuing your dreams.  Another wise man said something similar:

 

“We must all suffer from one of two pains:

the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

-Jim Rohn

Since we are all destined to feel pain, why not endure the frustration and pain of hard work.  This type of pain is temporary and it is followed by feelings of deep satisfaction. The pain of regret lingers for decades.  The pain of hard work quickly passes.  You will never regret working hard to fulfill your dreams.

 

Now imagine your deathbed scene from having accomplished your dreams.  Picture your loved ones gathered around your bed.  They beam with pride and thank you for being an example to them of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.  You smile at them and tell them all how proud of them you are and how much you love them.  As you look back on your life you realize that all the temporary frustrations and hard work was more than worth it.

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One Response to “How To Stop Procrastinating (When All Else Fails)”
  1. Del, you hit it right on the head with this one. As a writer myself, I’ve met lots of people who see writing a novel as some daunting task. What I learned long ago was to make a commitment every single day to do something that moves me towards the larger goal (i.e. writing one page a day will get you one page closer to finishing that book).

    Another clue I use is this: if I ask myself at the end of each day what I accomplished, besides the usual going to work, and if I can answer it positively, it’s been a good day. If not, it’s a wasted day.

    Great post, Del!

    Mark S. R. Peterson