Admittedly, I don’t read as often as I should. And of course, by read, I mean actual books. I have resolved to change that. It is something I should do and need to do. I found myself in a rut, feeling powerless against the direction I was heading. I lacked motivation and procrastination was my outlet. I was self-aware of this but lacked the will to take the necessary step(s) to correct.
I began Googling “procrastination” and almost every deviation thereof to find my solution. However, the results were overwhelming, I did not know where to even begin and this only exacerbated the situation. Then I was scrolling through LinkedIn one day when I saw a connection of mine commenting on a book she had read. She intimated that the book seemed unique as it approached the subject of procrastination from an emotional response perspective based on the author’s personal experience. This book is Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Hacking Laziness, Building Self Discipline, and Overcoming Procrastination by Nils Salzbegger. If you can get through the title, you’re well on your way!
Seriously though, I ordered it on Amazon for about $13 and it was here the next day. I dove into it immediately that night. It is spot on for me. I could relate to nearly every frustration, anecdote and scenario discussed. It validated many of my underlying feelings that I had been unable to adequately acknowledge or express. Simply put, it clicked for me. As I was reading, I would write down a note or point that really stuck with me, something that I could refer to regularly or perhaps when my focus and motivation were lacking. I tried to not let this list get too long, but instead, I focused on a nugget here and there. I started to call them pivot points, just little ideas here and there that could change my direction or line of thinking. Here are my 5 pivot points:
- Keep a procrastination log – forces you to become self-aware of your setbacks
- Lower the standard – don’t let perfect get in the way of good
- 2 minute rule – don’t delay what can be done in 2 minutes
- Next step vs. next 1000 steps – focus on the here and now
- Plan/schedule the day in advance – if its on the calendar, you commit
I’m not going to dive into the specifics of any of these points, but I was able to incorporate these and more into my life immediately and with measured success. My day became immediately more structured, prioritized and efficient. I’ve also found that with productivity success, my motivation grows exponentially. This self-fulfilling prophecy is obvious to some, but to the procrastinator, it seems unattainable at times and the pendulum swings the opposite direction.
I have since committed to reading 60 minutes per day 5 days per week. I have put together a list based on some quick Google searches. I have committed to tracking pivot points in each of the books and compiling a list. I will refer to this list for guidance frequently. I will share this list with others in hopes they too can take this opportunity to move forward. My current read is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. In the meantime, I highly recommend Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Hacking Laziness, Building Self Discipline, and Overcoming Procrastination by Nils Salzbegger. We all tend to procrastinate on some level, and there is great value in mitigating those inclinations.
Joshua Petzel – Managing Director