5 Secrets That Will Break Your Procrastination Habit

Several weeks ago, I spoke to an organization in my local area. At the end of my presentation, I offered the audience members a one time only special -- if they e-mailed me that day, I would send them a free copy of my ebook on procrastination prevention, One Moment in Time. I emphasized the fact that they had to e-mail me that day for the offer to be valid. 

Several people sent e-mails immediately. One lady approached me afterwards and said: “Eric, I have a serious problem with procrastination, so I will e-mail you sometime tomorrow to get your ebook!” 

This encounter inspired me to share with you my five secrets to overcoming procrastination. They are listed under the following acronym: “G.R.E.A.T” I chose this acronym because you will feel GREAT after implementing these techniques. 

  1. (G) Gratitude -- Dedicate the first thirty minutes of your day to making a thank youlist and reflecting on everything in your life for which you are grateful. I have discovered that doing this makes you feel better. When you feel better, you tend to be more proactive and less likely to procrastinate.

  2. (R) Recognize – By recognize I mean recognize your power times. We each have a genetic clock that allows our energy to peak at certain times of the day. For example, I am a morning person because early in the morning is the time of day when I have the most energy. 

    The key to success is to schedule your highest priority activities during the times of day that you have the most energy. If you attempt to complete a high priority task when you have low energy levels, you will be more likely to procrastinate.

  3. (E) Exercise -- According to the National Institute of Health Statistics, the higher a person’s income, the more likely they are to have a regular exercise routine. Habitual exercise produces endorphins in the body that give you the feeling of a “natural high”. As previously stated, the better you feel, the more proactive you will be.

  4. (A) Automation – This is the mentality of always looking for ways to free yourself from activities that take time away from your priorities. If you delegate those tasks that are necessary but of low priority, you have an automation mindset. Utilizing a virtual assistant to handle administrative tasks is a great example of this mind set.

  5. (T) Task Lists – Get in the habit of making a list at the end of the day of your priorities for the following day. I have found that this helps me to sleep better at night because once I put the tasks on paper, my mind is clear. You will wake up with a game plan, instead of hitting the snooze button.

So there you have it. If you implement the five tips just mentioned, you will maximize your time, minimize your stress, and break the habit of procrastination. Have a G.R.E.A.T day! 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

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Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It is impossible to feel blessed and stressed at the same time.”

As an up and coming executive responsible for multiple business locations, I was trained to make fixing problems a priority. I was taught to “manage by exception” by spending the majority of my time focusing on the shops that ranked in the bottom third in sales results. Simply moving the bottom third to the middle would have a dramatic impact on the overall results of the organization. We had record setting sales results and I received nothing but praise from my superiors. 

Unfortunately, my intense focus on problems was turning me into a pessimist. My ego took a major hit as I read the anonymous feedback surveys from the managers that reported to me. To my surprise they perceived that I was picking on them and that I failed to recognize their progress. To make matters worse, my stress level was at an all time high and I was on the verge of burnout. What could I do to reverse this trend? 

Thank You List
The main source of my stress was that I only focused on my problems without recognizing the positives. The solution was to embrace gratitude on a personal level. I started making a list and reflecting on everything in my life for which I was thankful. Areas such as my faith, family and friends were included. I would review this list before starting my day. I was amazed at how my productivity increased and my stress levels decreased. I became more proactive once I adopted the right perspective. 

The Dime Test
Once I adjusted my perspective, I was able to address my team. I used a best practice known as the “dime test” to make sure I recognized the positives with my people. I would take ten dimes and place them in my left pocket. Every time I thanked one of my managers, I would switch a dime to my right pocket. My goal was to end each day with ten dimes in the other pocket. After about twenty one days, saying thank you became a habit and I no longer needed the dimes. 

According to a University of Pennsylvania study, an optimist will outperform a pessimist on the job or in a business situation by as much as 50%. Making a thank you list and adopting the dime test will generate optimism, increase your success, and lower your stress. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner