“The key to overcoming procrastination is to strive for excellence instead of perfection.”
It was a very frustrating day in my life. I had a very important presentation to make and I was running late. I got in my car and put the address into my GPS navigation system. The response I got from the system was “searching for satellite signal”. Out of frustration, I called the customer support line. What the customer service agent told me applies to many of the entrepreneurs with whom I work.
She said, “Mr. Twiggs, with your model of GPS, you have to start moving towards your destination. Once you are in motion, your system will engage and tell you what to do next.”
This experience taught me that the fastest way to get to where you are going is to start moving. Keep reading and you will learn about the biggest enemy of getting started and how to overcome it.
Perfectionism is procrastination in disguise. A perfectionist believes that he has to have all of the details in perfect order before beginning a project. He puts off going to the networking function because his updated business cards have not arrived. He delays writing his book because he doesn’t know which publisher he will choose. He does not hire that key employee because he does not know all of the details of how the new healthcare legislation will impact his business.
The question becomes, what can you do to overcome perfectionism? Taking the following two steps will answer this question:
Be Clear On Your Destination - Steven Covey said it best: ”Begin with the end in mind.” The one thing that I had going for me in my GPS illustration was that I was certain about my destination. Having a written plan that starts with a clear vision of where you want to end up is the key.
And, understanding the “why” behind what you are doing will make the “how” much easier. For example, my vision is to be a world class thought leader on the topic of time management. Knowing this, makes me less likely to procrastinate when it comes to blogging or writing books.
Take Small Steps – The question you have to ask yourself is: “What is the next step towards my goal?” A small step in the direction of your goal is significant, and a much better alternative than standing still.
If you are writing a book, the next step may be creating the title. Writing a business plan would be a good next step for starting a business. Creating a job description would be a good first step to the hiring process.
Being clear on your destination and taking small steps in that direction will allow you to overcome perfectionism and to put off procrastination!
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. For additional strategies on getting started, read my latest ebook, One Moment in Time.