Procrastination is as horrible as a sickness. It destroys your productivity while you fight an internal battle to stay away from distractions and get back on task. So what can you do to get things done and stop procrastinating?
When it comes to accomplishments, I’ve met so many entrepreneurs over the years who consider themselves to be productive.
But of all the thousands I’ve met, I can count on my two hands how many of those are high performers. The majority operate at a low level. In comparison, I probably get more done in a day than most get done in a month because of the way I operate.
So how can you get the important tasks done? Let me answer that with one of my favorite expressions: Money loves speed. If you want to make money, move faster. It’s not how much you know, it’s how fast you implement and the three stages you go through to achieve success.
Speed Of Implementation
Many years ago I was attending an internet marketing conference with 400 participants. On day one, they were talking about how you can get more subscribers for your website. They taught us how to add a pop up on your homepage to get people to subscribe to your email list.
After he taught us that strategy, I called up my webmaster and asked him to try it out and see if it works. The result was we doubled our subscriber rate. The next day, the speaker asked how many had implemented the lesson from the day before.
Of the hundreds of attendees, I was the only one who had implemented. Right there and then, I had an aha moment.
I realized I was different than everyone else because I implemented way faster than most people. Unlike most people at a conference, I don’t wait until something is perfect to try something new. Immediately, I implement and then adjust or pivot if I need to improve.
Most people attend a conference, write a bunch of notes, then go home and fall back into their everyday routines. Others wait and then a month turns into a year.
They don’t realize that motion beats meditation. When they have an idea, they think about it, like waiting for an egg to hatch. They don’t take action.
You have people like that in your life. They see an invention on TV and claim they thought about it 10 years ago. They’re not happy someone stole their idea and is now making money with it. They don’t understand why they shouldn’t procrastinate or why someone else is making money on their invention.
They don’t realize that the longer they put off taking action, the more money they lose because procrastination is poverty.
Watch this video on how to get things done and stop procrastination.
Procrastination = Poverty
One of my mentors taught me that procrastination is the same as poverty.
Ideas are just 1 percent of getting something done and 99 percent is implementation. Having a brilliant idea and doing nothing about it will get you nowhere. It is far better to implement an average idea today than a fantastic idea tomorrow.
Don’t rely on having another day. What if tomorrow never comes? I’m not saying you won’t see tomorrow, I’m saying what you don’t do today just doesn’t get done.
People who struggle with their finances tend to procrastinate. Rich people get things done.
So now that you know how damaging procrastination can be, how do you stop it?
Science says we procrastinate to avoid the pain inside our head. Medical imaging has shown that the pain centre of our brain lights up when we think about having to do something that makes us uncomfortable.
The anticipation of doing a task we dread actually hurts us! But when we stop procrastinating and get things done, the imaging shows the pain disappears. Which means the faster you implement, the faster the discomfort goes away.
Formula To Get Things Done
When it comes to getting things done, you go through three stages before you achieve success. This is the formula I believe you should follow.
Stage 1: Work Hard
Most people are lazy and procrastinate. If you want to be a high achiever, then you must work hard.
For the first five years of my career, I didn’t take a single day off. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, even while my friends were out partying at night.
That habit hasn’t changed much over time. At my age, if you talk to my team, they’ll say I can work for hours and hours. I’m so focused, I forget to eat.
Even after a long day, I’m up the next morning and ready to work again after I’ve had some sleep. Having a high energy level is critical. It’s also important to work hard and be smart about it.
Stage 2: Work Smart
You need to work hard, but you should also work smart. Keeping busy without a clear plan is just as bad as procrastination. The end result is the same: you don’t achieve your goal.
If you want to work smart, have a goal. How can you be more efficient and effective to get you to your goal? Think about how you can get other people to help you, so you free up your time for other tasks.
Now, when you are at this stage, you are working hard, but you aren’t just keeping busy. You are working smart. You’re using your time and energy wisely, and you’re starting to see some success. And if you’re more strategic, you’ll reach the final stage most people don’t.
Stage 3: Think Hard
It may be another two, three or five years after you start working hard before you reach this stage. Only one percent, maybe even 0.1 percent get to this stage. Here, you are more self critical because you’re examining your vision and you’re strategizing.
Henry Ford believes that thinking is the hardest work there is. That’s why so few people engage in it. Most people don’t think very deeply about their business model or their environment. They just focus on the day to day of their business.
You need to set aside thinking time. It’s a time when you sit down in a quiet space where you’re away from technology, away from people, and you think.
Every single week I set aside a little time to think. Each time, my team believes there’s a big plan happening when I’m doing my thinking time. They anticipate something may change. Even if business is going well, we still need to be critical and set aside thinking time.
That’s how you stop procrastinating. First, work hard and don’t overthink what you’re doing. Just make it a habit to get more done. After you develop that habit, then work smart.
When you start to see results, then you are getting things done. You are achieving your goals and silencing that voice in your head that’s telling you to wait another day. Remember, money loves speed.
What idea will you implement today? Comment below.