Strategy

12th March 2015

When would now be a good time?

When would now be a good time?

 

Procrastination is a great word and an amazing skill. It is one of those skills that we all seem to possess and are able to access at the drop of a hat.

I looked the word up and Wikipedia defined it thus Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time”

We all do it. I certainly do it.

If I have a difficult or unpleasant task to do it is amazing how often it becomes more urgent that I rearrange my paper clips or tidy my desk. I suppose it is a natural human reaction, but it is also one of those areas where being aware that we are behaving that way can help us to overcome the habit; and very often it is precisely that, a habit, and nothing more than a habit and not a helpful one at that.

 

One example of procrastination is in the habit of saying “I will do it when…..”. You fill in the dots.

“I will do it when I have the time”, “I will do it when I have lost some weight”, “I will do it when I just get over this busy period”. Notice how often you say that.

Often the condition doesn’t make sense and is even self defeating as in “I will start exercising when I have lost some weight”. “I will book a holiday when I have a bit more time”. “I will take some time off when I am a little less busy”.

Well actually if you took some exercise you would lose weight, if you booked a holiday you would have more time, if you took some time off you would be less busy.

I will do it when…the time is right is a sure sign of procrastination and probably means the time will never be right.

We make excuses for not doing things too easily. We adopt a manana attitude and as a consequence the difficult or challenging things don’t ever get done.

Herb Kelleher the legendary founder of Southwest Airlines once said “We have a ‘strategic’ plan. It’s called doing things” Note that he didn’t say it’s not doing things. He didn’t say we will do things when we have a bit more time or space or money.

The best way to get started is to get started. Life rewards action…not reaction so wait for nothing.

Whenever you hear yourself thinking “I will start it when”  a little alarm bell should go off in your brain and you can start asking yourself “what am I avoiding?”, “What am I frightened of?”

I was looking at something that one of my coaches sent me a while back and it said  “If we wait until we are absolutely certain before we act, we will never do anything. Any time you act, you can be wrong. Any decision you make can turn out to be the wrong one. But we must not let this deter us from the going after the goal we want. You must daily have the courage to risk making mistakes, risk failure, and risk being humiliated. A step in the wrong direction is better than staying in the same spot all your life.”

You have heard of the power of now. Now is the time to take action. When would now be a good time for you to get started?

Remember those words of Pablo Picasso “Action is the foundational key to all success”  and JFDI. (Just do it!)