5 Tricks to Overcoming Procrastination

Are you behind on things or putting important tasks off until the last minute? Thenn take a look at these tricks.

Are you behind on things or putting important tasks off until the last minute? Thentake a look at these tricks!

photo by ailatan

We know we should not do it but we do anyway. What is it? Procrastination. How often have you had something you needed to do and then you just decided to put if off for a little while or you got caught up doing other ‘important things’.

It is just so easy to put something off until tomorrow. We often do it for a variety of reason, such as anxiety, busyness, boredom, or dislike for the task. But whatever the reason, it needs to stop, which is why we have 5 tricks to help you stop procrastinating today.  You can read about them tomorrow if you like.  Just kidding.  You need to read them now or you would not be on this page.  :-)
  • Take on only what you can accomplish – If you have so much to do that you cannot get any of it done on time then cut back and focus on a few tasks that you can do on time. A key part to fixing procrastination is simply managing your time and energy well. Look at all the activities and tasks you have, and then try to see if you can actually accomplish them in the amount of time you have. if you need to reorganize your life, then do it. Sometimes it takes some change in other areas before you will see change in this area.
  • Structure your time – set aside time for doing the things that usually distract you. If you like to take a break from accomplishing things by visiting your favorite websites plan a time to do that or use it as a reward after you have accomplished something important.
  • Tackle the hardest thing first.  Often we put off the hardest task and do things that are less difficult in their place.  Many times we never get around tot he really important things.  If you tackle the important things first the rest of the day will go much easier.  I have quit responding to my email in the morning and have started leaving it until the afternoon.  I’ll check to make sure there are no emergency emails but then I get started tackling projects and answer email later in the day when I have less project time.
  • Don’t get distracted – when you set out to do something, then keep doing it until you finish. Don’t let friends or other things distract you. Be sure that you set aside enough time to do the task in the first place.
  • Just do it – get your tasks done when you think about them, don’t but it off. If you think about another task while you are in the middle of one, then write it down and continue on your current task.
If you are stuck on what to focus on take a breather and ask God for wisdom both on what to work on and how to go about it.
Procrastination can be a difficult habit to break but you’ll be on you way if you follow these tips.  Not only will you find you are accomplishing more but your energy will increase and you’ll feel better about life.

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5 Questions That Help You Succeed

by striatic

photo by striatic

Success is defined as “the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted” in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, and there are 5 key questions that you must ask yourself if you want to succeed. These questions will help you start thinking of what needs to happen for success to be part of your life.

1. What is God’s will? To truly be successful in life, you must follow God’s will. The desire to accomplish things should come from him. Think about what God has in store for you in life. No one can become successful in life without following the will of God. Do you already know what God wants you to do but you’re hesitant to do so? Are you trying to figure out what God desires of you, but cannot figure it out? If you do not know what God wants you to do, there are plenty of resources for you. There are life coaches that can help guide you. There are books out there for you to read. You can spend time with the Lord, listen to his voice, and try to find out what God has in store for you.  Sometimes we know what God’s will is for us but we run from it like Jonah running from Nineveh.   If you know what God wants for you run in that direction until he shows you something different.  If you are not sure what God’s will is continue to seek him.  Some of the questions below will help you as you seek to find God’s will for you life.

2. What do I love to do? What do you enjoy? What makes you feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment after you do it? Always remember what you are drawn to. Remember what you love to do, because you will only burn yourself out if you are stuck doing things that you do not enjoy, even if you are outstanding at it. So identify what you love to do. You may not be able to do exactly what you wish to do, but try to find a way to incorporate what you love into what you already do. For instance, if you love to play basketball but cannot find a job as a professional basketball player, you can train to be a manager or a physical trainer.

3. What am I good at? Usually, what you are good at goes hand in hand with what you love to do. If not, you can always find what you are good at and fit that into what you love to do. It is important to identify what you are good at, because if you do a mediocre job at something, you will not succeed. You have to capitalize on your gifts and talents. It is what makes you stand out from the rest.

4. What more can I do to become better in what I do? There is always room for improvement. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. Never stop improving. This is a huge key for becoming successful and staying successful. Keep the motivation up and running. Figure what you can do to become better, and apply that to your life.

5. What roadblock is keeping me from reaching my highest potential? Are there any barriers? Anything hindering you from reaching your highest potential? First, identify the things that are keeping you from being the best that you can be. Next, figure out how you can eliminate this road block. Better yet, if you can figure out how to make this roadblock enhance your highest potential, it would be even better! If you cannot completely eliminate or use the roadblock to your advantage, find a way to suppress the effects that it has on you.

Remember to ask yourself these five questions if you want to become successful. Once you know what God’s will is, what you love to do, what you are good at that can be implemented into what you love to do, what you can do to improve, what is keeping you from being your best, you are 5 steps closer to being successful. Being successful is not easy, and it’s not just a destiny but a journey.  As you keep these questions in mind, you will see yourself transforming into a successful person and it will be the kind of success first of all that brings honor and glory to the Lord and then brings you joy and fulfillment as well.

How to Discover Your Life Purpose in 60 seconds

I have read a bunch of Destiny Discovery, Life Purpose Discovery, and God’s Will for your life Discovery books over the years and they seem to talk about a lot of things that are really good to focus on and think about, for instance:

  • Passions and Interests that motivate or infuriate you.
  • Areas that you have found success in life in the past.
  • The whole strengths movement furthered by Don Clifton and Marcus Buckingham and its emphasis on focusing on things that strengthen you.
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Specific Callings or Destiny Moments that God has used in your life
  • Your History and family history and current circumstances
  • Using God’s general revealed will to help you make decisions
  • Optimal Conditions for your life and environment
  • Things in your life that have a yearning quality to them

I just planned a whole retreat for my students that was called Discover Your Destiny and we worked with students on figuring out what their purpose in life is and what God created them for. All of these things are great and can help us figure out the specific purpose and cause that God has created us for. The good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do according to Ephesians 2:10.

Sometimes though, it can be a little overwhelming. Have you ever felt like there was just too much to think about when it comes to discovering your destiny or life purpose? You start to wade through all these different categories and you come out the back side almost as confused as you went in, maybe even more so.

If that is the case for you, you might want to just try this simple little exercise that can cut through all the clutter for you and help you figure out why you are walking planet Earth.

Complete the phrase:

My life purpose is to Glorify God by _____________ ING ____________ WHO/WHAT

(i.e. Fixing Cars, Leading Worship, Strengthening Leaders, Raising Godly Children,) You get the idea. You might want to wordsmith it a little when you are done so that it speaks to your soul more deeply or even add some clarifying remarks to bring it to and even greater focal point. We know that God has us on this earth to bring him glory but sometimes figure out the specific way that he wants us to do that is a little tricky. I

For many of you this question will help cut through the clutter in your brain and help you to figure out exactly what you are about. Hope it helps you in the process.

I learned this phrase from my friend Stephen Blandino years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. When I fulfill the Destiny that God has for me it will be bring God the most glory, most significantly advance the Kingdom of God and leave me the most fulfilled.

Take Action

Photo Credit Canale66

Everything that has been a success in my life has come from taking action. I have a friend who is a teacher that inherited a room with a bunch of motivational posters around the room one of which is Wayne Gretzky’s “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” While it’s definitely a little cheesy and over used (and I have just added to it’s over use J ) There is truth in that nugget.

All the successful people I have known take action.

If you want to be successful in relationship you:

Call up friends and invite them to dinner

You make amends or heal things as quickly as possible.

You are real.

You take action to grow the relationship.

If you want to be successful in parenting:

You learn all you can about being a great parent from other parents and books

You spend time leaning into your kids lives.

You structure your life so that you have time to be with your kids.

You spend more of your time doing the things that help grow your relationship

If you want to have a successful relationship with God:

You develop a loving relationship with him.

You take the message of Ecclesiastes to heart.

“Fear God and Keep his commandments for this is the whole of man.”

You put feet to your faith. In other words your faith works itself out in action.

If you want to be successful in business:

You take action towards your desired outcome.

You move forward doing things that will result in providing services to others.

You multiply your chances of success when you spend each day working on one project instead of working on many different projects at once.

Action + Focus is the key to freedom.

You will only experience the freedom you are looking for from business if you take action.

If you want to be successful in getting in shape.

You take action to change your diet.

You increase your physical activity.

You might have to make lifestyle changes so that you have the energy to exercise and put yourself in places where it is easy to eat right.

What are in your life do you want to grow more successful in today?

What is one step you can take that will move you closer to your goal?

Why are you still reading? Go do it. :-)

Get out of a Book Free Card

“Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt.” -Seth Godin, The Dip

At the table one time with fork in hand, I remember thinking I really don’t want to eat all the food on my plate. I know it’s the polite thing to do and there are still starving kids in Africa but what in the world did that have to do with me eating more food than I should?

There was a sense of freedom that came in that moment as I walked my plate over to the trashcan and scraped my leftovers into the trash with my fork. No longer would I be ensnared by the need to finish my plate of food without mitigating circumstances; guest in another person’s home etc.

I think Seth Godin’s quote applies to great readers as well. Great readers quit fast, quit often and quit without guilt. How many times have you been stuck in the middle of a book that you are dreading (and I am not referring to one that you have been assigned to read) but you keep slogging through it anyway just so you can have a sense of completion at the end.

You have never gone too far down the wrong road to turn back. –Turkish Proverb

In The Dip, Goodin also states that, “we fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.”

If you are in the middle of book and there discover that it is not helping you, and in fact, it is draining you I give you the permission to not finish the book. If this goes against every grain in your body you can fill out the form below.

Get Out of a Book Free Card

I hereby give myself permission to not finish the next book

I find myself in the middle of that is not profitable for me.

___________ ___________

Name Date

Now you might find yourself stuck in a book because it is stretching you either in your thinking, reading ability or challenging your current paradigm. These might be good books to slog through as they will help you grow. But if you are reading a book that isn’t going to help you than get rid of it and use the Get out of a Book Free Card if you need to.

Am I going too far?

Last night was the 4th of July and it was a lot of fun. For the first time in our families history none of my kids were crying or asking to leave early because of the ear splitting, chest thumping, heart stopping explosions of fireworks.

As we were leaving the house I decided to grab the small travel book light that my wife had purchased for my birthday earlier this year. One of our friends mentioned that that is when my reading kick had gone too far, by bringing a book light and book to the fireworks show.

For a minute I was thinking maybe she was right. I only did read few pages with the book light, after it was pretty dark but while we listed to the band play favorite songs from years gone by and everyone did motions to YMCA. Reading only lasted a few minutes until my kids decided it was time to wrestle again. This morning as I thought about I figured that I only did read about 10 to 15 pages over the course of the 4 hours. But it was 10 to 15 pages that I wouldn’t have read had I not brought a book with me. Most of the pages were read as I was riding the city bus back to pick up the car for my family but I did read 2 or 3 pages with the book light.

Did I go too far? Nope, not at all. In fact, I might need to consider bringing a book light to more locations. :-)

Cut that out

Do you ever wish that there were just big scissors around the things in your life that it made sense to cut out? Probably some of us would love that and others would rebel that we were being told what to cut out of our lives. I think in this picture the paving crew was being told where to cut the road. :-)

Well for better or worse (mostly for better I think) it is left almost entirely up to us what to cut out of our lives so that we can make time for the really important things.

Here are some things that you might want to cut out of your life so that you can make time for reading.

1. TV. Especially now with being able to download TV shows commercial free on Itunes it might be a good time to get rid of the TV. I have met a few families or friends over the years that haven’t had TV and I think they were better off for it. We went a year without a TV and we will be without TV starting in September again and I can’t wait. If you can’t cut out TV just try reading during the commercials.

2. Eliminate Unnecessary commitments. Perhaps you have been locked into somethings that aren’t in your areas of strengths or that someone else could be doing much better. Think of clubs, civic organizations, church activities that aren’t what God has for you. Many of these things might be really good. But really good is the enemy of great.

3. Facebook, MySpace or Surfing Online. If you track the time that you spend online that isn’t purposeful you might be able to read a book a week. Seriously the amount of time that people spend online is eclipsing the amount of time that they spend in front of the TV.

4. Unsubscribe from Email Lists. I started unsubscribing from email lists about 3 weeks ago and literally every day I have more email lists that I am getting off of. It’s not just the time it takes to delete the emails each day but they often distract us from what we need to be doing when we are at our desks in front of the computer. An additional idea is to have a seperate email for mailing lists that you check once a week.

5. Don’t Shower. OK. I admit this one is a little extreme. But it just goes to show you that things really can be cut from your life so that you can read. I heard a guy speak that makes about $50,000 a month online and he was talking about the things that people do instead of accomplishing things. There were the typical things like TV and procrastinating. When he talked about not bathing to accomplish things I realized he was serious about what was important in his life.

6. Work Less. You might have scoffed at this one. I am a firm believer in working hard and giving whatever you are doing your all. The hours that we work continues to increase and I am sure that most of us could accomplish what we do in less time if we worked a little less and worked a little smarter.

Hopefully those ideas get you jumpstarted about what you can cut out of your own life so that you can make time to read.