Thursday, August 30, 2007

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once said, “The biggest gap in the world is between I should and I did.” Is that true with you?

If you have an issue with procrastination, John Maxwell has some words of advice for you:

If you struggle with procrastination, you’re not alone. To be successful you must learn to close the gap between what you should be doing and what you are actually doing. Start by following these four steps:

1. Disrupt your regular routine. It doesn’t matter how hard or long you work if you’re not accomplishing what needs to be done. Sometimes changing how or where you work can increase your productivity significantly. Start by shuffling the order of your daily tasks. If it makes sense, begin your day with a task you normally reserve for the end of the day or vice versa.

Also, try changing your work setting. Go to a park. Work by the pool. Break out of old familiar patterns.

And another way to get more done is to steal an hour each day. Get up an hour earlier. Begin work on a project during your “off” time. The idea is to take the pressure off yourself by starting a job or doing a task when you’re not actually supposed to be working.

2. Get your first failure out of the way. Author Henry C. Link said, “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” Plan and execute your first failure so that you no longer have to fear it. If you need to make sales calls, dial up your first potential client and expect rejection.

Keep calling until you get that first “no.” If you’re brainstorming to solve a problem or complete a project, start by weeding through the bad ideas then move on to better ones. Once you’ve expected—and overcome—one failure, others don’t look so intimidating.

Tomorrow, I will share John's 3rd and 4th points on how to overcome procrastination.

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