Overcoming Procrastination

Today I want you to think about all of your dreams. Think about everything you want out of life. Think about every goal that you want to achieve.

Now think about the progress you are making in achieving each goal. If you are not where you should be or want to be, ask yourself what is holding you back. 

Chances are you will come up with a hundred different reasons. And many of them – in your mind – will seem justified. In reality however, you’re probably suffering from something called procrastination.

I know, it’s an ugly word. And nobody likes to admit that they procrastinate. But the truth is, most people do and the sooner you realize and accept it, the better. 

When it comes to self improvement, there is never one magical thing that works for everyone. It really all depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are. 

For some people, investing time learning about how to properly set goals is most beneficial. Whereas for others, learning how to better manage time is the best course for action.

One thing is for sure though; there is one thing that can completely halt any chance you have at success. And that one thing is procrastination. 

You see, regardless of what course of action you take to improve yourself and achieve success, if you never actually take action, nothing will happen. It sounds pretty simple yet this is a big problem for many people. 

Some people suffer from something called analysis paralysis where they spends their entire lives analyzing their next move or decision but never actually “do” anything. 

Others suffer from a fear of failure or even success. 

Some people suffer from the dream syndrome where they constantly educate themselves and think that every resource they invest their time and money into will fulfill their dreams. They just keep buying resources because that keeps the dream alive but again, they never actually take action. 

Whatever your reason may be for not taking action, the bottom line is your chances of success are already shattered if you do not change. 

Now no one says change is easy. In fact, sometimes change involves a complete paradigm shift. In other words, you must completely alter the way you see the world. 

For example, your reason for not taking the action to achieve a certain goal may be that it involves time that you simply do not have. Your schedule will not allow you to invest time in anything other than all of the things you are currently involved in…or so you may think. 

You see, we as humans make time for the things which we view as valuable. The level of value attached each activity determines how much time we can dedicate toward that activity. 

When it comes to exercise – which is an invaluable activity – because it brings forth so many benefits physically and emotionally, the biggest reason people have for not working out is not having the time. They say things like “I work 12 hours a day and have an hour and half commute each way to work”.  “There is no way I could get to a gym 3 times per week for an hour each time.”

Ask these same people if they would come to the gym 3 times per week for 1 hour if they were given $500 dollars every time they came and see how fast they would find the time to come. 

It may seem a little funny but what you have is a person who places a higher value on money than they do on their health. For that reason, they will find the time to invest in getting the money. 

When your health is good, it is easy to place a higher value on money. But ask any person on their death bed – who has lost heir health – if any amount of money could compensate for what they are going through. 

Back to my point; you may have countless reasons why you are not taking action. What it really boils down to is that taking action toward achieving a goal just doesn’t have a high enough value attached to it yet; because if it did, you would be getting busy. 

So once again, I want to think about all of your dreams and everything you want out of life. Think about every goal that you want to achieve and think about the progress you are making in achieving each goal.

If you’re not making progress, think about what you have to lose. Statistics show that pain is a greater motivator than pleasure; meaning that people generally do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.

I guess that’s becuase pleasure attainment can be percieved as a luxury and pain avoidance can be viewed as a necessity.

The problem is that often times painful consequences don’t come on slowly, they usually just appear out of nowhere in your face leaving you in a state of emergency. Things like disease, job loss, relationship failure, etc. may take time to build up but once they arrive, it usually catches you off guard.

And if you’re not prepared, the damage can be immense.

So how do you prepare?

You prepare by ending procrastination and taking action toward achieving financial freedom, investing in a relatiionship (or moving away from a toxic one), changing your bad eating habits or whatever else kind of action will eventually payoff and prevent pain from coming.

Remember, pain isn’t always easy to see coming but one it arrives, there’s no denying it.

Take action toward your goals TODAY.

Comments

comments

33 Comments

  • Arsenio Reyes says:

    Thanks Paul, very well said about what procrastination really is, it’s the absence of ACTION! And now I know why some things have no results. The examples are excellent, really enlightening.

    • Paul J Mascetta says:

      @ Arsenio. Glad you liked it. Action makes everything else effective; without action everything else is just a thought.

  • Biren says:

    Dear Paul
    Well said and described….its wonderfully enlightening and learning……….Thanks for such a beautiful article.

  • Rod says:

    I love the clarity with which you write.
    Very helpful examples…time is passing by…where will we be next year at this time? Still reading posts on how to stop procrastinating? I want to tap the “if my life depended on it” attitude toward making time for the big things in my life. Thanks Paul.

  • David Jones says:

    Very interesting post, Paul. This is what the majority of people do in all areas of their lives. I guess you’d call it the comfort zone, and something for us all to bear in mind to some extent I think.

  • Traudi Katharina says:

    Dear Paul, thank you for reminding me of the Habit, Procastination.

    I am certainly writ it down on a piece of paper and put it where I can see to it to remind myself to take action.

    With Gratitude and joy

    Traudi Katharina

  • Totsan says:

    All I could do about the above is to nod my head. Thanks for the reminder.

  • fantastic, please teach me how to stop procrasting, the simple way.
    thanks arnold

    • Paul J Mascetta says:

      Hey guys, so happy to see so many comments on this topic. I guess it’s because we ALL can relate. The key to ending procrastination is to think about what the possibility of consequence or loss that’s at stake if you continue to put things off. Statistically speaking, humans overestimate the role of pain/consequence in their decisions around 3 times as much as they should anyway so this shouldn’t be too hard.

      I think the problem is that this analysis of consequence only comes about when someone feels extreme pressure to have to act. And unfortunately, unless you are a very motivated person, this extreme pressure usually only surfaces in the face of emergency. Don’t wait for the emergency. Act now. Do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off.

  • James z says:

    If procrastination was a club, I would be it’s president! Imagine how much better life would be if everyone did the unpleasant things they avoid doing and how rich a society we would belong to?

  • Linda Williams says:

    Yes, I was a nodding dog as well, thank you

  • Procrastination is a kind of illness in our society that holds back so many people from achieving their true worth. If only everyone had the ‘JUST DO IT’ attitude, their lives would be fulfilling and fewer people would be on the dole!

  • jessica says:

    So true..thus ´´to hold yourself out in taking action´´ is also due to other factors…what happened there?

  • Chigor says:

    Dear Paul,
    The most remarkable thing to say to you here is ‘thanks for reminding us’. The fact is that we forget too often what we wanted; it is called distraction.

    Then we all act, always according to our strongest convictions; if we believe we cannot make it NOW, we always like to convince ourselves that we have more time. only in retrospect will we realize that we were wrong unless someone reminds us again.

    (exhales)…I will move again NOW

    see you guys

  • ERNEST says:

    PAUL
    WE DO NOT ALWAYS CHANGE BECAUSE WE WANT TO – WE OFTEN NEED A “BURNING PLATFORM” TO FORCE US.I THINK THE FEAR OF FAILURE HOLDS US BACK.

  • joseph says:

    pleaase send me your articles, they are so educative, i cant wait. help me please.

    thanks

  • richard says:

    Best precisely accurate read ive seen on the subject .The busy guys who cant find time to exercise ,awesome !!!I am very focussed and achieve a LOT in all areas .Please show me how to get better !!!

  • richard says:

    i meditate/self hypnotise each day without fail.work out and Tai Je,am efficient ,focussed ,reliable,motivated ,have a massive dream?!?I grow every day . Want to multiply results -show me how !!you da man !

  • Crystal says:

    I really sympathize them fully.For things I experienced,personally I get things you said are accurate.Thanks a lot!!

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