Skipped the gym? I will just make up for it tomorrow. Hit the snooze button? I just needed the rest. Brushed off something on your to-do list? It was not important.
Procrastination is always an inner battle. But losing it has greater consequences than a missed workout or a blown deadline.
Why Is This Important?
Two years ago, I pursued my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. I did freelance writing, built websites, and took on finance and CFO projects. Despite all the time I put in, I was not seeing the results. Why? Because I could not get myself to do the uncomfortable work — the difficult, tedious, and unsatisfying tasks that come with building a business from scratch. I kept looking for relief from those tasks, often scrolling through YouTube or going out for a coffee break.
I did not make any money from my entrepreneurial efforts for 2 years!
Until I did the following: I developed habits.
To be truly productive, you cannot rely on hacks, apps, or the newest big thing. I have tried. You need to develop habits and a set of routines that you do every day. My system looks like the following:
(1) I exercise by body every day. When I do not exercise, I lack focus, confidence, and energy. So I now do daily yoga and workouts. Overcoming procrastination starts before you fight the inner battle.
(2) I have a set of daily habits. I am at my main job in private equity eight hours a day. After work, I do an hour of yoga at my local yoga club. I practice my two new languages one hour each.
Then, I devote three more hours to my free-lancing, the Million Dollar Tips blog website, and part-time CFO positions. I also make sure to interact with friends and family every day. On the weekends, I add guitar and grappling at my local MMA club to the list as well.
(3) Break your big tasks into manageable pieces. When I am working on a large project, break the big task into more manageable pieces. For instance, if you want to write a book, give yourself small daily writing assignments to complete.
What is the Lesson Learned?
You will always want to procrastinate. However, if you have a system, you can be productive.
Work on creating doing these today, not tomorrow. 5 years down the line when you are 35, you would have wished you had built a business, taken those salsa lessons, or learned the guitar.