We know the practice of putting off a significant undertaking that contains risks and the potential for failure as procrastination. Procrastination can also ruin your life and work and, in turn, limit your potential.
It's imperative to take the required actions to end the pattern.
The first thing to do is to become conscious of our procrastination pattern. This is when we know we should be doing something else instead of avoiding it. If we don’t take immediate action, we start making excuses (it’s our brain talking!) for our behavior pattern, and nothing changes. And the cycle begins again and again…
What is that for you? Is that wanting another job or that promotion but not taking action to change the situation? Or do you want to live a proactive lifestyle?
You can alter your current circumstances, no matter what they are. But you already knew that, right? Learning is not enough; action is required. Do you want to accomplish anything? Act!
Our brain is programmed to stop us from doing things when we are uncomfortable, uncertain, or scared. It’s up to us to learn how to move from idea to action. A while ago, I read about the 5-second rule, a simple trick to outsmart the brain. I’ve included this rule in the third step, as this will move you to action. Try it!
To help you break the pattern, follow these three steps:
1) Recognize the procrastination pattern: the excuse you tell yourself for not doing something.
2) Know what you want. For example, “make an appointment with my manager to discuss that promotion.”
3) Take immediate action by counting backward 5,4,3,2,1, and before you hit 1, you should be grabbing your laptop to write an email asking your manager for a meeting.
If you don’t act within 5 seconds, the brain will kick into full gear and sabotage any behavior change. But if you do, you will create momentum and progress and get closer to your goal. Practicing this new behavior will make you happier and more productive!