The Multi-Million Dollar Cure for Procrastination

Write a daily to-do list, then DO IT!

The following prompt is straight out of my latest book Ten Seconds of Boldness. I’ve used these techniques for so long that they have become a habit. I consider myself an expert at time management. Ask anyone I have worked with and they will agree.

I am sharing this one tip and likely others because they may, in some small or great way, help you get more shit done, especially that long list of things you have been putting off. You know the one I’m talking about. We all have it. Sometimes we keep it hidden in the recesses of our minds. But when it comes to procrastination, out of sight is not out of mind.

When it comes to procrastination, out of sight is not out of mind.

The key to getting things done and overcoming procrastination is simple when we stop thinking and start doing. What do I mean? I write shit down that I feel is important: To dos appointments, ideas, projects, and plans that are merely rough ideas. And yes, like most people, I too have a long list of things I want to do, probably should do, but continue to put off for a myriad of reasons. Some good, or so I think. Others are merely excuses I make and believe because I am battling some inner fear about the outcome or lack of resources necessary to feel confident enough to take the first step.

Let me help. Take the first step.

Write a list of things you have been putting off. Look at it and honestly ask yourself, how important is this right now? If it’s not, procrastinate. Take it off the list. If it is, read on and do the prompt below. It may make a tremendous difference not only in your attitude about yourself, but actually may be your mental ex-lax to unblock your creativity or productivity as the case may be.

Do it NOW!

No, I do not get everything I write down done every day. Who does that? I do, however, write some sort of “to-do” list almost every day, usually, on scraps of paper I cut up from articles I wrote and printed then decided were crap so rather than crumpling them up, I took the scissors to them and gave them a second chance at meaning and purpose as a to-do list.

No, I do not get everything I write down done every day. Who does that?

When I am done—writing and checking off as much or all of the things in the list, I can recycle them or toss them in a manilla envelope labeled “TO DOs DONE” for safekeeping. I created this system so the next time I am feeling overwhelmed with procrastination, I can rummage through what I HAVE DONE and feel better long enough to tackle the next item onmy list. This may sound whacked. It works for me. Find your own system or try some of the tips I’ll share now and later.

Side Note: So you don’t think I am some know-it-all-to-do-list ninja who gets all his work done without fail, I don’t. That’s a fantasy. In fact, I am guilty of adding things to the list that weren’t on it, especially if I only got 1–2 of the 4–6 things done.

I am guilty of adding things to the list that weren’t on it, especially if I only got 1–2 of the 4–6 things done.

Hey, we gotta build confidence and consistency, right? And I am nit the only one who does this. The other day when I was talking about my hectic day and long list of to-dos with one of my largest clients, he admitted to adding things to his to do list that were already done as well for the same reason. We had a good laugh, got back on track, and secured the business at hand. Simple. Easy. Fun.

Getting shit done is an art form. So are excuses and procrastination. But we’re going to keep this positive today. I’ll save tips for overcoming excuses for another day…

Where was I? Oh yeah, for me, crossing things off my to-do list is like having a mocha almond fudge ice cream, in a sugar cone, on a hot summer day. It tastes so sweet and is a rush of caffeine and sugar. Afterward, I feel like I can run or marathon. Or when the rush wears off, take a two-hour cat nap in front of a fan.

So you want a free tip without spending twenty bucks on my book to get this and hundreds more? Here’s one plagiarized from my own book, Ten Seconds of Boldness, to whet your appetite.

Prompt #1: Block and Tackle Practice

No, I’m not talking about football practice. You don’t need shoulder pads or cleats for this exercise.

Take ten minutes to write down everything you want or need to do today (be sure to include the things you’ve been procrastinating over).

Take ten minutes to write down everything you want or need to do today (be sure to include the things you’ve been procrastinating over).

Look at your list. Are the important things on your calendar? If not put them on it. Next, organize your list into things that can be done in blocks of time. For example: I am the sharpest in the morning, so I will put anything that requires creative thought, such as writing or working on marketing proposals, on my calendar for a one-to-two-hour block in the morning. Then I get to it.

Next, on a separate piece of paper write down everything you want or need to do this week. You get the idea. Repeat the process for a month, year, or longer. For “to-dos” with a deadline of one year or longer, I recommend using the productivity planning sheets in Appendix II. We’ll also explore more tips and tricks, in the next section, Into Action. (Sorry all, I literally copied and pasted this from my manuscript…There is no Into Action Section in this article. You’ll have to get the book for that.)

Follow me if you want to learn more simple, practical, effective strategies for time management and more that actually work!

Until next time.

Keep smiling, life’s more fun when you do.

Find my books wherever they’re sold.

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

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