The best way to stop procrastination is to take action, now.
I can hear you creating a million excuses for not starting that thing you have had in your mind for a long time.
What is it? Building a website for your photography portfolio? Writing a poem? Applying for a new job? Recording a social media video for that brilliant idea? Making a song? Painting your dog’s portrait?
Whatever it is…
When there is something new we want to do, we unconsciously start making excuses to postpone it: Excuses like… “Let me finish this show first”, “I need to call my best friend for the 7th time today”, “Let’s go hiking first. I can start it later”, “The laundry has been piling up, and I need to take care of it immediately”, “It’s okay, I will do it someday!”
You will do it someday?
As Timothy Ferriss mentions in his The 4-Hour Workweek book, “Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.”
By procrastinating, you know that you are just looking for ways to run away from the actual tasks you should be working on. You are aware that you are playing the procrastination game, but you do it anyway.
According to decades of research summarized by Solving Procrastination Initiative, the reason for procrastination could be things like abstract goals, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, fear of failure, lack of energy, and lack of motivation. Regardless of the reason, procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles on our way to achieving our goals and being happier.
According to a survey published in Psychological Bulletin, 94% of people said that procrastination has a negative effect on their happiness.
So… how to stop postponing and start “doing”?
Ask yourself: What is that thing stressing you out? What is occupying your mind all the time? What are you running away from?
Find it out and start doing it. Right now, right here. Write the first sentence of your book, swing the first brush for your painting, create the first tone of your song, click the Apply button for the job you’ve been dreaming about, or sign up for a web service to create that portfolio website for your photography business.
Take action, right now!
David Allen, the author of the bestselling book Getting Things Done, recommends using the two-minute rule which is… If you can do something in two minutes or less, do it now.
Bill Gates says, “If you have a long to-do list that keeps growing instead of shrinking, complete a few items right at that moment.”
Taking action immediately instead of telling yourself, “I will do it later,” is priceless. This is how dreamers become doers.