I wrote this blog post seven days before New Year.
I bet once you think of the new year you begin to think of your New Year’s resolutions. To lose weight and get fit? To quit smoking? To go to the gym three times a week? To start a new business venture? To get out of debt and save money? To spend more time with family? To improve your prayer life to the next level?
Whatever it is, 2017 is going to be another exciting chapter of your life as you will be the author of every page of it. So this year is a new beginning to rewrite your resolutions for self-improvement. However, you get frustrated because last year’s New Year’s resolutions were never achieved.
It’s quite discouraging, isn’t it?
You were really determined, but what went wrong? Why it has been so difficult to follow through and reach your goals?
The real culprit is simply procrastination.
Some people call it the thief of time. Whatever you call it, it simply refers to the avoidance of specific tasks or the act of postponing or delaying them. It is the gap between intention and action. Sad to say, procrastination can cause missed deadlines and other golden opportunities.
I’ll do it later
A couple of months ago, I started writing a book about personal finance for OFWs. But because I was so busy at school, I was struggling to find time to write.
Can you imagine how happy I was when October break came? It was almost one week. It meant an opportunity to sit down and continue writing the book. It was the perfect time to write down my ideas chapter by chapter.
My goal was to write at least 800-1,000 words every day. I was so excited. So, with so much enthusiasm, I started outlining the Table of Contents using mind mapping.
What happened was I got so dull, unproductive, and lazy that I never even took my laptop out to write. Instead, I found myself holding the TV remote control. Just one movie on Netflix, I thought. I can write later but not today. I’ll do it later. Then my eyes were glued on the big flat TV screen, my legs perched on the center table.
Forget about the task as the movie is so enticing!
The school break was over and I was still working on the Table of Contents.
How to Beat Procrastination
How do you overcome procrastination? Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or shortcut to beat procrastination. Here are the practical steps we can do to accomplish a difficult task ahead.
1. Create a specific and measurable resolution
Setting a specific and measurable resolution is the first step to success. Whether your resolution is short-term or long term, make sure to consider the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) formula as your guide to the goal-setting process. Do not set difficult tasks that are hard to achieve because you will easily be discouraged.
We often give ourselves too many things to do and become overwhelmed in the process.
So, don’t shoot for the moon yet. Start by choosing just a small thing that you’ve been procrastinating and make a commitment to complete the task.
2.Chunking bigger tasks into smaller ones
One fundamental step to beat procrastination is to learn how to chunk bigger tasks into smaller ones. The entire job may seem overwhelming and tiring but smaller tasks are easier and manageable. Write them down and post them in a place where you’ll see them often.
Henry Ford once wrote: “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” It is encouraging and fulfilling to see a task being done on time.
3. Identify obstacles
It is imperative to identify possible obstacles and eliminate unnecessary distractions from your everyday routine. Ask yourself what causes you to get easily distracted and look for an ideal environment where you can focus on your work.
When you make mistakes, just don’t give up. Instead, allow failures as a tool to reflect and make necessary adjustments for self-improvement if necessary. Your ability to beat procrastination and to get the task done on time can make all the difference between success and failure in your career.
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4. Start now, not later
Turning resolutions into action and make it as a top priority is important. The key is self-discipline and consistency to fill the gap between intention and action. Make sure that you would be able to finish the task and reward yourself for meeting your goals.
If you didn’t act today, you’ll soon realize 2017 is over.
5. Seek support from colleagues
It is easy to give up when you don’t see any progress over time. Therefore, it is imperative to ask appropriate support to stay motivated. For instance, if you have a friend who wanted to stay on the loop with blogging but oftentimes are distracted with many things, joining a blog community is a good option.
If you want to lose weight, speak to someone who has similar resolutions and create a support group to keep you motivated.
The success rate is much higher when there is outside support. You need to get things done and stay on task if you want to be productive and successful this coming year.
Happy New Year!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
Note: JUN AMPARO is an OFW and founder of Richly Blessed Today. He is the author of OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone: Practical Tips on How to Be Wise with Your Hard-earned Money.
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