Hi, I’m Dr. Brad, double-boarded sports medicine doctor and peak performance coach, helping driven professionals achieve higher levels of both success AND fulfillment, so they can experience the best version of themselves.
Today’s topic is procrastination. I think all of us, to some degree, struggle with being task oriented toward something we don’t want to do. We’ve got goals that we’re trying to hit, but, oftentimes, that means that we have to do things as part of achieving that goal that may not be the most exciting part of the process. There’s stuff that we just have to do that isn’t exciting. How do you really get up and get excited to do that? Really, how do you consistently do that? Because to me, the opposite of procrastination is consistency, because when you push stuff off, unfortunately it slows down momentum. Anything that we’re doing, there’s a certain amount of momentum that we need to create to get results. We want to get that ball rolling, and get the ball moving. When you’re inconsistent, or you’re procrastinating, the momentum that you’re trying to build never gains enough steam to get the results you want…and that’s just not acceptable.
I’m going to cover five key things that you can do to prevent procrastination and really master it so that you can get those things done that you need to, even those tasks that you don’t want to, so that you can build and maintain enough momentum for your end goal to actually come to fruition.
First, is understanding that preventing procrastination starts in the morning. The first tip is to (1) start your day in the morning with a distinct to-do list. When I wake up in the morning, I take time to get my thoughts together. I take time in prayer. Then, once I’ve done that, I then have a list of things that I’m looking to accomplish that day. I focus on, what are the projects that I have to do? Who are the people that I need to talk to, and what are my priorities for the day? When I gather my thoughts together like that, and create a list of things that I have to do, it forces me to organize my thoughts about what I have to do for the day.
Second, you’ve got to (2) change the feeling you have toward whatever task you keep avoiding. Typically, we’re procrastinating on things that when we think of it, a negative feeling is often associated with the task. The mind is interesting. It won’t want to carry out anything that you have a negative feeling toward. For example, most of us like the taste and feel good about eating dessert, so we don’t hesitate to have dessert. However, we don’t feel the same way about eating vegetables, because for most of us, it’s not our favorite food on the plate. We’ll often eat them last if at all. This is the same way we treat tasks that we procrastinate on. Things that we really don’t want to do we delay and push off. What I encourage you to do is change your feeling toward whatever that thing is that you’ve got that negative mindset about. Basically, find a reason to feel more positive about the vegetables on the ‘plate of performance’.
Third thing is to (3) put it on the calendar. I don’t know about you, but, for me, things don’t exist unless I put it on the schedule. You have to schedule it. Whatever you want to accomplish will have a much higher likelihood of being achieved if, you put it on the calendar. For me, my calendar is on my phone. If I’m trying to get things done and it’s not on the calendar, it will not get done…period. I schedule it. Whether it’s something that you have to do
daily, something that you have to do weekly, if you put it on the schedule, you’ll start noticing that these things that you’ve been pushing back for so long will start to get done, you just got to put it on a calendar.
Then, the fourth thing, related to putting things on the calendar and scheduling it, is (4) pairing the action that you’ve been delaying to something that to another behavior or action that you know is going to get done.
For example, sometimes, I delay on…believe it or not, actually cut my kids’ hair. This is a peek inside of the Bellard household…lol. I actually cut my kids’ hair, so if you ever see them with a bad haircut, then you know who to blame. But for the longest, I would put that off, and would continually make excuses that I’m busy. However, once I started pairing cutting my kids’ hair with cutting my own hair, then my kids started having consistent haircuts. I started cutting their hair right after I would cut my own. Pair whatever that action that you are delaying with something that you know is going to get done.
Another example, for me, is after clinic, is typically whenever I dictate the charts for my patients. I would procrastinate because it is something I don’t enjoy doing at all. But, usually, right after my clinic, I sit down with my assistant, make sure we didn’t miss anything, and I pair that meeting with my charting and am able to get it done.
Then, the last thing is (5) minimize distraction. You see, it’s interesting. We’ll find any reason not to get something done if we have something else that is occupying our time. I can remember sitting down needing to do a paper or needing to do something on the computer, and my setup would be my computer, to my left would be snacks, I would be sitting on the couch in front of the television, and before I’d know it, I’ve watched six episodes of Family Feud and I haven’t touched the computer or gotten any work done! All those distractions are simply going to worsen procrastination.
Whatever it is you are working on, find a spot, whether it’s your office or your room. Cut the television off, put your phone away, and focus, because you’ll see that once you actually put intentional time directed absolutely toward that, then, oftentimes, it goes a lot smoother and faster and it’s not nearly as bad as what you thought it was going to be.
I encourage you to use these five principles that we’ve discussed here to help to prevent procrastination in your day. Share this blog with someone who might be struggling with procrastination.
I’m signing off, Dr. Brad, your double-boarded Sports Medicine Physician and Peak Performance Coach, helping busy professionals maximize their performance so they can experience professional success and personal fulfillment simultaneously! For more information on subjects related to elite level performance both professionally and personally, follow me on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram @Dr Brad MD. And if you are looking to increase the results in your life, go to resultswithdrbrad.com where you can download the FREE video The Results Formula…delivering great information on how to turn your goals into reality!l And remember, you CAN have success and fulfillment at the same time! See you at the top!