Accomplish More Than You Think You Can Do
Tell me, have you discovered your purpose in life? Do you have long-term goals? Finding and focusing on your long-term goals is a powerful cure for procrastination. A vision is simply a statement of what you want to achieve in life, and how you plan to achieve it. Without a vision, it’s easy to fall into a lifestyle of procrastination. And without a clear statement of your vision, you’re more likely to give up on projects in the face of difficulties.
If you haven’t written your vision, you need to make this your No. 1 priority. Your goals and your attention will shift from one project to the next, year after year, if you don’t have a vision to guide you.
Make a written list of your lifetime goals. Wishing won’t make it happen-writing down a goal is the first action you can take to conquer procrastination. One research study discovered that people who write down their goals earn ten times more than people who don’t. You may think you have a goal, but if you haven’t written it down, research suggests your chances of accomplishing it are small.
Break down your long-term goals into measurable tasks. This is the only way you can stay focused enough to keep moving toward your long-term goals. Without a series of clearly-defined milestones to measure your progress, you can delude yourself into thinking that you’re moving toward a goal when in fact you haven’t taken the first step yet. Do you constantly miss deadlines? Do you make up reasons to justify why you didn’t finish an important task, rather than tackling it and getting it done? Are you sincere enough to recognize the real reason why you missed your deadline? Do you have a written plan of attack for finishing the job without further delay?
Perfectionism is one of the main causes of procrastination. Recognize the difference between striving for excellence and getting stuck in a vicious circle of perfectionism. Ask yourself what type of work demands perfectionism. If the job you’re doing is not the type that requires perfectionism, then remember that your goal must be excellence rather than perfection.
Always keep a journal or idea book with you. Use spare time to jot down ideas about how you plan to attack your next goal. When you’re working on one project, what do you do when you get random ideas about other things? Do you write them down? Writing is a great way to use spare time and unleash your creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar-just get your thoughts down as quickly as you can. If you need to show what you’ve written to someone else, you can revise it later.
Remind yourself that every task you face today is part of a divine plan for your life. Shakespeare wrote: “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” You were created to accomplish more than you think you can do.