“People who are interested in doing something will do it when it’s convenient. People who are committed will do it no matter what.”Bob Proctor
Is there something in your life you’ve been ‘meaning to get to’?
Something you keep putting off until ‘later’?
Maybe it’s something to do with your health?
Of course, we’re all familiar with procrastination and we all want to know how we can stop ourselves from doing it.
So, if there’s something you’ve been procrastinating on for a while now, I’m going to share with you some insights into WHY you do it.
The thing you keep saying you’re going to do actually isn’t important to you.
I’m going to repeat that.
The thing you keep saying you’re going to do actually isn’t important to you.
We all have a hierarchy of values, which means you’ll be more naturally drawn to some things over others.
Let’s say you’ve been procrastinating on starting regular exercise. The thing is, health and fitness aren’t high in your hierarchy of values (if they were, you wouldn’t be procrastinating on it!) So sure, you may start, but you’ll quickly drop it for the activities that are in alignment with your highest values. To paraphrase Bob Proctor – you’re not committed and THAT’S OK.
If that’s the case – then the answer is simple.
LET IT GO.
Stop trying to force yourself to do something just because society says you ‘should’.
If you don’t enjoy spending time with your family, don’t spend time with them. If you can’t stand exercising simply for the sake of exercising, then don’t. Go do something that inspires you instead.
Too often we burden ourselves with commitments we have no real desire to do.
“But I can’t just not do it!”
Yes, you can.
It might involve an uncomfortable conversation or two, but what’s the alternative? Continue to spend your days under the weight of other peoples’ expectations about what you should and shouldn’t do? Continue to beat yourself up over something you’d rather not care about anyway?
I’m giving you permission to simply let it go.
Despite what your doctor, your spouse or your brother-in-law may say, there is zero point pushing you to do something that’s neither aligned with your highest values nor are you committed to doing.
You’ll agree that life throws up situations which can radically shift the way we perceive the world and our relationship with it.
Having a child is one example of how your perspective can change dramatically overnight and create a dramatic change to your hierarchy of values (which ordinarily are fairly static).
Being told by your doctor you’ve got a life-threatening illness can also create a dramatic shift in values.
For one of our former clients, this is exactly what happened.
He’d been saying for a while he wanted to exit the business but continued to put it off.
His wife wanted him home more, and he was stressed day in and day out. He kept saying he wanted more time for his life outside of work, but because ‘Business’ was high in his hierarchy of values, he just couldn’t see himself not being at work.
Then his doctor told him he had Cancer and within the month he would have to undergo surgery in an attempt to remove it.
Overnight, the work required to get him out of the business became his highest priority.
He recruited a great General Manager. He worked with his teams to get the right people in the right roles so effective systems could be implemented which removed the burden of him having to be there every day.
While he recovered, Rob and I worked incredibly closely with his team to ensure targets were met, and performance according to role accountabilities were being managed.
After some solid work over about 6 months, the business operated more effectively and more profitably than it ever had – and the owner had indeed stepped out and stayed out, deciding that there were other things in life he wanted to focus on now.
Much like a looming deadline, a dramatic life event forces you to acknowledge you don’t have all the time in the world to make things happen, and as such, has the power to force you into action.
Ok, but what if you’re procrastinating on something you know is CRITICAL for getting you to where you want to be in life?
There’s no deadline and no life-crisis to force your hand on this one so you put off doing whatever it is for days, months, or possibly even years.
Your subconscious is protecting you from doing something which it believes will cause you pain.
Maybe you put-off making follow up calls because you hate the feeling of being rejected.
Maybe you routinely “forget” to chase up outstanding invoices each month because you’re uncomfortable asking for money.
Maybe you keep avoiding the most important thing on your ‘To-Do’ list by telling yourself you’ll just get these other things out of the way first.
If this is the case, then unless you’re prepared to get down to, and deal with, the underlying causes which are driving your procrastination, you’ll continue to repeat it.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this one.
There could be a whole host of reasons as to why you’re not doing what you know you need to be doing to get you where you want to go. As part of our coaching process, this is one of the areas we go deep with our clients on. There’s usually a tangled mess of old beliefs and imperceptions which need to be addressed as part of working through why they’re procrastinating in the first place.
But I do like to give you something practical to implement in these blogs, so I’m going to share with you a ‘hack’ of sorts that can work to break through your procrastination, if you’re really serious about doing so.
To illustrate this ‘hack’, I’m going to share with you the story of a friend of mine (names changed to maintain privacy).
When Alice* was young, she grew up in a very poor family. Fortunately, she had a mentor of sorts come into her life in the form of her ex-father-in-law. Her father-in-law was a very wealthy man and showed Alice* that a life completely different to the life she’d experienced was possible… if you had investments.
From that moment, Alice* knew she needed to have investments, but investments were not high in Alice’s hierarchy of values. So what did she do?
Firstly, she got clear with herself on why she wanted investments. Then she could decide it was important enough for her to do the work on her subconscious necessary to increase her value on investment money. Then she took the final and most important step – she committed herself to doing the work.
Alice* committed herself to repeatedly taking the actions which would convince her subconscious that having investments was critical to her living out her highest priorities. Once her subconscious was convinced, it ensured all of her actions were in alignment with her having investments.
As Bob Proctor said, “…People who are committed will do it no matter what.” Similarly, Jim Rohn tells us, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.”
If you’re putting off doing something you know is important, get clear with yourself on why it’s important to you and then commit to working continuously on your subconscious until it believes that doing what you need to do is important to you living your highest priorities.
In business, a good dose of pig-headedness, when properly directed, can go a long way to achieving the life you’ve always wanted for yourself and your family.
If you’re tired of having to do this on your own and would like to have someone in your corner to hold you accountable and keep you on track to achieving all you’re capable of, then reach out. Rob and I are here to support you in creating the business and the life you deserve for you and your family.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.