Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you're spinning your wheels, but you'll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won't even be able to start your engine.
The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.
Ask people why they procrastinate and you'll often hear something like this, I'm a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can't work when I have a headache." The other end of procrastination - being unable to finish - also has a perfectionist explanation: "I'm just never satisfied. I'm my own harshest critic. If all the i's aren't dotted and all the t's aren't crossed, I just can't consider that I'm done. That's just the way I am, and I'll probably never change."
Do you see what's going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but in the end it's just a very pious kind of excuse making. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with what's really behind procrastination.
Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That's what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What's the difference whether you're afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else? You're still paralyzed by fear. What's the difference whether you never start or never finish? You're still stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You´re still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished, or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It's a very convenient mental tool.
I'm going to tell you how to overcome procrastination. I'm going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.
The first principle is: break it down.
No matter what you're trying to accomplish, whether it's writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time. Focus on accomplishing what's right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what's off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That's the first all- important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.
Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a four hundred-page novel. If you're like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We're breaking down the four-hundred-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you're being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to do look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.
Suppose I was to ask you: can you fill up a page and a quarter with words-not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don't look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.
If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow - if I told them, I don't want you to look back, and I don't want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day - do you think they could do it?
One day at a time. We've all heard that phrase. That's what we're doing here. We're breaking down the time required for a major task into one-day segments, and we're breaking down the work involved in writing a four hundred-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.
Keep this up for one year, and you'll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: break it down.
My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: write it down. We know how important writing is to goal setting. The writing you'll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.
In other words, you're going to keep a diary of your activities. And you're going to be surprised by the distractions, detours, and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it's almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you're actually doing... and what you're not doing.
The time diary doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible; if it's inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every thirty minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.
Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don't let that fool you: these are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started to achieving your goals.
To Your Success,
Reproduced with permission from Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine. Copyright 2005 Jim Rohn International. All rights reserved worldwide. To subscribe to Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine, go to http://Jim-Rohn.InspiresYOU.com
Motivation - The Power of Drive
My experience tells me there are three stages people go through on their way to having the drive necessary to meet their goals:
5 Forgotten Secrets to Beating Procrastination at Home
It's not easy to stay motivated and beat procrastination while being at home. Too many distractions and feeling that tasks can always be delayed until tomorrow or the next day can cause procrastination at home to set in.
Taking Action NOW: 9 Key Strategies...Part I
Awareness, understanding what impacts you!
How to Take Your Stalled Projects to the Finish Line
Q. I have several projects going at once -- but I never seem to finish them! I'm pulled in so many different directions -- and I end up with nothing to show for my efforts!
Quit Pretending - You Have To Live Whats In You To Succeed
Some people, after they reach their mid and upper adult years seem to go through their lives just existing. Oh! They work at their jobs as best as they can. Some may even pursue higher positions in their jobs but they still don't seem to stay satisfied with whatever position they have. They are usually the ones just waiting until it comes time for their retirement.
7 Hot Tips For Self Improvement Part 2
Self Improvement Tip 4 Don't procrastinate! The more you put something off and something else off, the more all your undesirable chores pile up.
Getting Out of a Rut
Are you feeling bored or restless? Do you need to make a change of some type? People who make creative breakthroughs are the ones who usually are looking for different ways of doing things. I am going to suggest some possible ways to get out of your rut. This could actually be fun. Now, please keep an open mind.
Make The Most Of Today
"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do and you've done it!" - Margaret Thatcher (Former British Prime Minister)
What Does Your Future Hold? Do You Have A Plan? Or Are You Just Waiting To See What Happens?
We often find ourselves in a situation in which we either accept the change that someone else imposes upon us or in which we ourselves effect the change we would like to see happen. We sometimes stammer and hesitate and procrastinate with regard to decision making. Not making a decision is a decision in itself.
Do You have a Dream?
Do you find yourself sitting at work longing to be somewhere else and doing something you have always wanted to do?
You Want Me to Do What?
Most of the time whenever we need to make an important business decision we turn to what is convenient or comfortable. Why is it that we never seem to want to venture out and try new things. Is it the fact that we know what to expect when using our current vendor(s), even if they aren't the best at what they do?
Stick With the Winners
Here is an interesting quotation from Stephen Walsh.
Are You Still Stuck on Still?
Are you still "stuck on still?" If so, don't let fear, doubt or disappointment rob you of your future, or keep you from your desires. Instead, see yourself as the person that you want to become. Human Beings naturally navigate towards the pictures they keep in their minds. Empower yourself and create the images you want to attract.
Explanations?... or Excuses?
Which of the following "explanations" have you heard (or used!) in the past few weeks?
7 Stepping-stones to Career Growth and Excellence
Achieving excellence in our work is an integral part of feeling genuinely satisfied in life. We want our careers or businesses to blossom, making us financially secure and content with our achievements. Here are seven stepping-stones that lead to career growth and excellence. When used as part of a total action-plan, these stepping-stones can contribute tremendously to the fulfillment that you desire.
The True Cost Of A Lack of Motivation
And what a lack of motivation means..
I Should Be Doing... But...?
What a perfect fall Saturday morning, clear sunny blue sky, with a crisp breeze blowing. It's just the one I've been waiting for to begin that yearly regimen, Fall Clean Up. Throwing on some old work clothes, gabbing a mug of steaming coffee and picking up the list of jobs off the kitchen table, I head outside.
We stood in the kitchen talking. I was discussing my upcoming change in lifestyle. I was excited yet hesitant as I talked about it. We set a goal many years ago to change our lifestyle from one of the hectic city life, working to pay the bills?.. to one of a slower country pace, working on our "wanna do's". Yet as I talked to my friend about this, there was hesitation in my voice. Leaving a company where I had worked for over 26 years, leaving friends who have become like family to me, leaving a province where I had lived, raised my children and worked for the last 16 years. I expressed my concerns of leaving a steady paycheck for a much, much lower income. As I talked, that little voice in my head was saying, "what are you doing, will you be able to make it?"
Increase Your Energy!
It was only about 18 months ago that I could not even keep up with a 90-year old's energy levels. At my partner's family functions, I often sat with his grandmother who, by the end of the evening, was still lively and chirpy while I was barely able to keep my eyes open. Most evenings I would come home after work, curl into bed with a book and fall asleep. When I woke up I would feel tired and demotivated. I figured I didn't have enough time left to do anything interesting, so I would go back to bed. Sometimes I would even fall asleep at the book shop while choosing which books to buy!
Whatever Happened to You?
Whatever happened to all the dreams? The wants, the desires, the hopes, the cravings, the appetite, the passion? The aspirations of youth? Where did you go? Whatever happened to you?
|home | site map|