Do you make lists of things to do? If so, do you carry over to the next day(s) the things you didn’t accomplish the day(s) before? Most of us have things on our list that carry over… on and on and on it goes.
Ever heard of The 72-Hour Rule? I had heard of it a couple years ago from the German Money Coach Bodo Schäfer.
It implies that the longer you postpone something the less likely it is that you’ll actually do it. In other words, when you postpone something for longer than 72 hours, you usually found enough excuses to not do it. Really, it works that way. Sort of a rule of the universe or something… at least you will probably find that it has held true for you in the past.
Think about it. You’ve decided to do something… maybe replace that broken gate in the yard. You write it on a piece of paper and stick it with a magnet on the refrigerator where you can see it every day. And you do see it every day.
But do you get out there and replace the gate? No. In fact that little piece of paper stays there on the door to the fridge for 4 days. It becomes second nature to see the paper there… so second nature that you don’t even “see” it anymore, if you know what I mean.
It’s a bit funny, but I’ve found that the longer you wait to do the action, the longer it takes to actually get around to it. You’ll find you will create more and more excuses for not getting it done.
You might even eventually just take it off the list altogether, figuring the gate actually doesn’t look that bad at all really. ;-)
A friend of mine tells me that she would take all the things that she had been moving forward on her “to-do” list for days and days to a new list of “Things I May Get to Someday if I Think of It” list. Hey, no pressure!
A way to handle this trait of procrastination is to realize the motivation to act upon the idea or stimulation decreases after each hour that passes by. You then ask yourself, “I have to do it anyway, so let’s do it NOW and it’s done.”
I think Internet business matters should be at the top of this list, and you should get in the mindset that you really ARE going to get this thing done (or at least to get started), and no later than within the next 72 hours, no matter what. If you can’t get started right away, put the deadline on your calendar in three days time.
Remember that you may have to do some preparation to actually start on your activity by that date, but determine you are going to do it—for sure—in this 72-hour time frame. Again, the likelihood that you actually do it decreases after each hour as your brain finds more and more excuses and “good reasons” for postponement.
Longer projects can be divided up into steps and you can schedule that first step in 72 hours. Then once the first step is done, ensure you get the second step started in 72 hours, and so on.
You really can break the procrastination habit. It just takes a little planning, fortitude, discipline, and the courage to form the opposite habit. ;-)