Procrastination vs. New Habits

I'm the world's biggest procrastinator.  (At least, that's what I thought until I discovered "Procrastination" doesn't really exist.)  Making the bed felt like the biggest job in the world until I discovered the secret to eliminating "Procrastination".

Procrastination is NOT a character trait or a character flaw.  It's a collection of small habits you need to develop.  If you're attempting to conquer Procrastination, you're probably trying to do too much at once.  

Consider the number of tasks you're trying to perfect.  You don't lack MOTIVATION as much as you lack a system of ORGANIZATION.

If you have a BIG "Procrastination" issue, you really have a lot of small habits you need to develop.

Maybe you have a a HUGE LIST of 52 habits you need to change.  If you can create one new habit a week, within a year you can conquer "Procrastination".

When I opened my own restaurant, I found that the staff's abilities were much lower than the standards I wanted to achieve.  I gave them a course on all the items they needed to do. 

While I felt the details were straight forward, after weeks of trying to get the staff to implement all the steps, they still couldn't do it.  What was interesting was that it wasn't the same step they'd forget.  Each time it was something else.

I realized they hadn't developed habits.

The following week I asked them to focus on only ONE step. Remember to Refill Drinks.  The week after, Bring Condiments to the Table etc.

They ALL achieved the 10 habits, but only because I had the patience to wait for them to learn.  (And waiting for your staff to take 2 1/2 months to perfect things you EXPECT is painful, let me assure you.)

We must apply the same principles to ourselves.  Have PATIENCE with yourself.  Don't take on more than one habit at a time.  Pick the easiest one.  Put it first in your schedule.  Develop your level of achievement as you accomplish each new habit.

SUCCESS comes by tackling one issue at a time. 

STOP trying to "not being so lazy".  STOP beating yourself up for all the things that are sitting undone.  Pick the easiest habit to create and commit to doing it 100% this week.  If you don't achieve 100%, keep working on it the next week until you do it.

Once you achieve 100% on one, pick the next easiest.  Ignore all the other habits you procrastinate on.  If you have family or coworkers that are nagging you about them, sit down and make a deal with them.  Let them know that you'll eventually get them ALL done, if they'll give you the ability to just focus on one at a time.

I started with Making the Bed.
I moved on to Putting my dished in the kitchen.
Then I put them in the dishwasher and turned it on.
I added sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor...

Now you can laugh if you want, but I guarantee there's wives reading this that dream of the day their husband can accomplish these "Amazing Feats of Organization".

Put the new habit first.  Do what is least enjoyable or hardest at the start of your day or routine and then everything else is free to enjoy, especially if you've given yourself permission to not worry about the 51 Habits you'll deal with later.

Graham White