A man walking down the street notices a family of three and their dog sitting on the porch. The dog is whining, whimpering, and groaning.
“Why is your dog acting this way?” asks the man. “He is lying on a nail," they replied.
With a puzzled look on his face, the man asks, “Well why doesn’t he just get up?”
“Because it’s not hurting badly enough,” they replied.
How bad does it have to hurt before you get off of the nail? Most change is delayed until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of moving forward.
This is why I believe that pain is the best remedy for procrastination. So, how can you use pain as a motivating force? Keep reading and you will learn two strategies that will get you moving.
Make Your Goal Public
Find like minded individuals to whom you can publicly communicate your goals. Be sure to let them know the specific goal and when it will be accomplished. Knowing that you will have to report on your progress can be a motivating factor. The potential public embarrassment that you will experience as a result of not following through can give you the necessary incentive achieve the goals.
For example, I have an accountability “buddy” that I speak with on a monthly basis. Every month, we agree on specific actions that we will have accomplished by the next phone call. The potential pain of not meeting my commitment drives me to do what I said.
Implement a Penalty System
I know of a business owner who really values a good night sleep. If he fails to follow through on completing a writing assignment, he penalizes himself by waking up an hour earlier until he gets it done. The pain associated with cutting into his sleep time pushes him to complete his writing on time.
A monetary penalty is a great source of pain. I recommend setting up a Procrastination Jar to which you will contribute when you fail to meet a deadline. Take those contributions and donate them to a local charity each month. Paying $20 that you won't see again to your jar for failing to get your business plan written will make you think twice about future delay.
So there you have it. Making your goal public and instituting a penalty system will get you moving in the direction of your dream by allowing you to accomplish your goals.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. To get additional information on the reasons that you procrastinate, read my ebook, One Moment in Time.