"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
What is it you're putting off? Come on, be honest. It's just you and me here. You can say it. Is it calling prospects? Putting off that website redesign? Holding off on creating that buyers' seminar?
What is it that's holding you back? What keeps you from setting higher goals, prospecting or going after luxury and high-end real estate? Psychologists have been studying procrastination for decades, and what they've found at its core is this: that nasty little, four-letter word -- fear.
Fear is our worst enemy. FDR said it best: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Here's the rub, though. Fear can only be conquered by action. And progress follows action.
Here are five ways to put procrastination -- and its buddy "fear" -- in their place for good:
1. Start easy by breaking down your task. Sure, the complete redesign of a multi-page website can sound overwhelming. Even dreadful. And it's certainly easy to see why you might put that off. But if you break it down into small, chewable chunks, it starts looking digestible and doable. Maybe today you just write a list of five items you'd like to see on your site. See, that's not so bad, is it? And once you get going, you create some momentum and the rest seems doable.
2. Keep accountability front and center. Nothing gets done without accountability. You can hold yourself accountable by broadcasting your intentions. Tell a coworker, a friend, a family member or boss what you're going to do. Today that's easy: use social networking, Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Of course I'd be remiss in not suggesting a coach. We're trained to keep your nose to the grindstone. Contact me for the "Daily Activity Record" to help keep you on track.
3. Focus on the why of your project. Think about it: it's easier to complete a task if you fully understand and appreciate the value that will come from that task being completed. Let's use the website redesign as an example again. Why would you want to do that? More prospects? More clients? More credibility in the market? If a project has you twiddling your thumbs, take a few minutes to jot down all the whys.
4. Keep an eye out for excuses. If honors were given for being able to come up with excuses, some agents I know would be Nobel Prize winners. It's amazing how creative we are when it comes to finding reasons not to do something that needs to be done. The trick is to listen to what you're telling yourself. You have to be aware that you're actually making an excuse. Then label it as an excuse, because that's exactly what it is. You have to see the opponent to beat the opponent.
5. Set goals for the day. After you wake up, pledge to yourself that you're going to make it a day of action. Plan your day, write your goals and prioritize them, schedule blocks of time for each one and then act. Stay focused and don't stop until you get them done.
Finally, realize each day is a gift that allows you to take action and impact the lives of others. I challenge you to move into action and leave excuses behind. For this life is amazing, and wonderful things await those who take action.
Let me hear from you. Sometimes it helps just to talk about a project that has you procrastinating.
Verl Workman is president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.