Procrastination - The Tomorrow Effect On Your Success
Nothing, nothing at all, will screw you up more than putting off until tomorrow the important things you know must be done today. Read on - now - to learn about the Tomorrow Effect on your success.
Nothing, nothing at all, will screw you up more than putting off until tomorrow the important things you know must be done today. If "Tomorrow", "I meant to get it done", "I have so many other things to do"," When does it have to be done", "It is never too late", "I need more information - facts - statistics", "It has to be perfect", " I am afraid it will not be good enough" blah, blah, blah, are part of your own internal communications, you are a procrastinator, and you will not succeed to the extent your abilities, personal and technical skill sets, education and energy would otherwise allow you to succeed.
Every day we all see people with average abilities and education and all the other measures we use to qualify our fellow human beings, succeeding while other much more "qualified" people stay in place, or slide back, or make less progress than the less endowed.
What's the difference? Procrastination is a major culprit -in fact ' the major culprit. It may be caused by the usual culprits. Fear, perfectionism, conflicting priorities, confusing busy with effective, placing importance on the wrong things. In every case, the result is performance that doesn't meet expectations.
I suggest that the successful live in today, and procrastinators live in yesterday and tomorrow - today is the bridge backward or forward for procrastinators.
Remember the song in Annie - the movie and the Broadway play. "The sun will come up tomorrow -------". The saying "Tomorrow is another day". The thought - "It's never too late". All of those phrases are very encouraging, very comforting. They mean there is hope - if it wasn't done today, well, there's always tomorrow.
The truth is there may not be a tomorrow - it might very well be too late. The sun may not come up tomorrow. And what's wrong with today, anyway? Maybe a more accurate truth is the saying " He who hesitates is lost." That's the truth.
Procrastinators are time optimists - they rationalize not getting things done by telling themselves there is always tomorrow. In doing that they rob themselves of today. And today becomes another day of frustration and the accomplishment of thin things. Make no mistake, most procrastinators are very busy and may be the people who work more hours than any others. But they aren't effective. And they usually get the fewest critical opportunities to accomplish important things, because of the low level of trust others have in their performing on a timely basis.
So what can be done about this truly destructive behavior that afflicts millions of people, and impacts success in every business?
The toughest issue with procrastination, in its many forms, is that it's a habit of thought . It does not respond well to surgery, or the purchase of books, CD's and other materials stuffed with hope and revelations and epiphanies. This is the true challenge - to replace the Tomorrow habit of thought with another habit- one that creates a Today habit of thought.
But the only way to do it is through action. Perhaps the action is finally picking up the phone and calling that person you have meant to stay in touch with. Perhaps it is that trip to the gym that has been delayed for three months. Perhaps it is starting the first step in getting your tax information together.
In any case, it is taking action to do something that you know you must do - and fighting that little message that says - "There is always tomorrow". And turning your back on that message the first time - and then the second time - and then the thousandth time - and then ---. And then you will be well on your way to your new habit of thought - a habit that tells you " Today is all I have, and I have not a moment to lose."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andy Cox is President of Cox Consulting Group LLC. He founded his firm in 1995 after extensive experience in leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations. His focus is on helping clients select, develop, retain and enhance the performance of leaders and emerging leaders. He can be reached at http://www.coxconsultgroup.com or contact him at email@example.com