Stop procrastination with right surroundingsWritten by Tom Richard | | email@example.com
Why didn’t we do this sooner?” That was the question my wife and I posed to each other as we laid down our paint brushes. We had been staring at the once-drab walls of our home for three years with wonder. The beauty of getting that first bright splash of paint on the wall was that it contained within itself the action required to get the thousand or so other brush strokes that were required to complete the remainder of the project.
As the inside of a house is painted, one tends to notice that as soon as the job is begun, the rest of the house just seems to paint itself. Sure it is still work, but once it gets started, you find that there is an inner motivation that just seems to take over and usually doesn’t subside until the job is done. Yet, we had waited three long years despite disliking those drab walls.
As we looked at the completed rooms, we could not help but smile at how wonderful they looked. We found that we were enjoying our home with an entirely fresh vigor and sense of appreciation. Why hadn’t we done this sooner?
Even though the question has little merit, it does shed some light onto the same reasons that many people do not do things sooner. Technically you could call it procrastination, but procrastination is merely a symptom that helps you diagnosis the underlying issue. This is more than a question of procrastination, it is about prioritization.
If you were consistently sneezing, you wouldn’t resign yourself to simply saying, “Well, I’m a sneezer.” No, you would try and figure out what around you is causing you to consistently sneeze. That is, if you truly wanted to stop sneezing. Once you are able to identify what is causing you to sneeze, you would be able to change your environment to relieve your symptoms.
For these same reasons, you should not just shrug and say, “Well, I’m a procrastinator.” Instead of resigning yourself to the fact that you tend to procrastinate, you must recognize that your procrastination, or inability to get things done, is merely a symptom of not setting up your environment correctly.
For example, let’s say that all of your Tuesday morning assignments are late. Do an honest evaluation of yourself and your work ethic. Why are all these assignments late? If it turns out that all day Monday you are planning on where you are going to meet your friends to watch Monday Night Football, then your issue is that you are procrastinating.
Remember, your work environment consists of more than just the space you work in; it also incorporates the space in your head filled up with the goal you are trying to achieve. Your ability to create the best environment to eliminate the underlying cause of your procrastination lies in your ability to combine your physical space with your mental state of mind.
When faced with a large project — say, a desk piled high with reports — the worst thing one can do is stand back and stare. In doing so, the only thing you see is a big pile of “procrastination” instead of a paper that might have one simple task of “Let’s get prioritizing!” in its reference line.
Create the right environment for yourself. Focus only on one small step at a time. Prioritize. Trim down the goal you are trying to achieve into the actions required in order to be successful. Every goal is accomplished one step at a time, and there is always a first step. Make it count and create momentum toward the steps that must follow.
Get that first splash of paint on the wall where others can see it and you will be creating the momentum you need to sail all the way to personal and professional success.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.