About 25 years ago, I let procrastination cause a permanent and irreparable wound to my soul.
Growing up, the most influential person in my life was my Grandma Flo. She was funny, kind, loving and wise. She helped me through the sea of painful emotions I was navigating as a result of living in an unhappy home. She taught me tolerance, patience, humor and how to make really good chicken soup.
As her health began to fail, I saw the writing on the wall and began to prepare for it emotionally. It was then that I had a brilliant idea. Why not interview Grandma Flo on tape? Why not preserve her memory for all time, capturing her wisdom, humor, stories and recipes? Why not create a memento to which I could always turn if I ever wanted to hear her unique voice again?
I bought a tape recorder specifically for that very purpose. I had every intention of bringing it with me the next time I visited her. But I forgot it. No problem, I thought. I’ll do it next time.
The next time came, and I remembered the tape recorder…but forgot the tape. No problem, I thought. I’ll bring one next time. Not that I couldn’t just go downstairs to the local store and buy one, but why bother, I thought. There’s always tomorrow.
As it turned out, there was no tomorrow. Grandma Flo died a few days later. I never interviewed her. I never created that memento.
And, I’ve never gotten over the pain of missing that opportunity.
Each day, we’re presented with opportunities; some which might feed our souls, some which might lead us to financial freedom, some which might strengthen our relationships and some which might improve our well-being. Yet how often do we seize those opportunities?
From my research on the subject, I’d say far too seldom. We hesitate, avoid and procrastinate so often that it becomes our defining feature. And our lives are made worse as a result.
There’s a large body of research that suggests that procrastinators live lives that are far less satisfying than those who don’t delay action. Procrastinators are less healthy, less happy, less affluent and less successful in relationships than their non-procrastinating equivalents.
As private practitioners, there’s nothing more damaging to our success than the habit of procrastination. It saps us of willpower, it robs us of opportunities and it leads us to uninspiring results. The trouble is that we have such a poor understanding of why we procrastinate that we seldom find a way out.
If you’ve been procrastinating in your practice – or your life – here are a few sound bites from my course, Procrastination Annihilation, which may get you thinking about procrastination in a different way.
- Procrastination virtually never results from laziness, contrary to popular belief. Every indication is that procrastinators are hard-working people with the ability to focus and get things done.
- Procrastination is not an insurmountable obstacle. It can be cured.
- Procrastination can only thrive in a climate of unconsciousness. In other words, once you become consciously aware of the real reason you’re doing it (not laziness) you gain the power to vanquish it.
- There are eight reasons why people procrastinate, and each gains its power from the fact that the procrastinator is unconscious at the time of the real reason he or she is procrastinating.
- Each of the eight reasons has a unique remedy that works 100% of the time, once the individual awakens to which reason is controlling his or her behavior and applies that remedy.
- Each of the eight reasons represents a lack of something, and when that lack is recognized and filled, the process stops instantly.
Here are the eight reasons people procrastinate and the lack that creates them:
- Ignorance: the individual has an unrecognized lack of knowledge.
- Apathy: the individual has an unrecognized lack of hope.
- Momentum: the individual has an unrecognized lack of dedicated time.
- Boredom: the individual has an unrecognized lack of focus.
- Rush addiction: the individual has an unrecognized lack of energy.
- Apprehension: the individual has an unrecognized lack of courage.
- Vagueness: the individual has an unrecognized lack of clarity.
- Emptiness: the individual has an unrecognized lack of passion.
To eliminate procrastination and breathe new life into your practice, learn how to recognize each of these in your day-to-day behaviors and master the remedies for each. Don’t let your unconscious patterns control you and prevent you from being the person you can be, making the difference you can make, and reaping the rewards that are there for the taking.
To learn more about the Eight Flavors of Procrastination, visit www.eliminatingprocrastination.com.
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