The following is a guest post by Leigh Fletcher. Leigh is a millennial sales executive, blogger and entrepreneur, with a passion for sales improvement strategies. Leigh writes practical articles with a focus on leveraging personal experience to help others learn new skills in selling or simply refine existing skills. You can learn more at Leigh-Fletcher.com.
As a millennial getting ready to take over the world, there is only one thing more important than your time: what you actually achieve from it.
To help you make those achievements happen more often, here are 5 key anti-procrastination strategies for millennials:
1. Procrastinate On Low Value Things
That’s right. The first thing you should do is actually procrastinate – but only on the low value things that you would usually do just to keep “busy.”
For example, last year I stopped doing my expenses almost all year. Why, you ask? Because I would rather spend my time selling, than spending my time recouping what has already happened, and I could catch up on later. (For the record, I made ten times more selling than what I later expensed.)
Start identifying and procrastinating on the things that are taking up time and not adding value to you. Then save them for doing once you’ve got the stuff that really does add value finished.
2. Get Buzzed
Everyone talks about setting goals, but if you have fiery goals and ambitions for what you want to achieve then you will start to revel in the idea of doing the hard things…and doing them fast. This is because the more you get buzzed about the critical hard things you do, the closer you are going to come to your success.
I often sit back on a Sunday (when I do my weekly plan) and feel like I don’t even want to go into work in the morning. Then, I remember what I want to be making and what I want to achieve, and then I can’t wait to get back into it.
3. Discipline Your Mind
About six months ago I hit a lull where I just couldn’t seem to get myself to do the things I needed to do. Put simply, my mind had just gotten lazy. To get things done you need to make sure your desires can overpower that little voice in your head telling you not to bother. Most minds have been trained from an early age to procrastinate and get things done “just in time.” I mean, think about the assignments you received (and procrastinated on) in your school and college life.
I started actually disciplining my mind through exercises like:
- Setting specific times where I would check social media, to keep it from messing up my focus;
- Doing e-mail ‘triages’ instead of working from my inbox (i.e. a fly-through to quickly sort out what I would answer straight away, delete, or schedule for later) and not spend my whole day in my email inbox distracted from my real objectives;
- Spending a whole week where I didn’t finish the last five percent of my meals. My mind had created the notion that I needed to finish every meal, but I trained it to let it go;
- Starting picking random things around the house I wouldn’t normally do but took me 10 seconds, and started doing them. I was disciplining my mind to “start up” and do things without needing massive planning;
- Bribing myself. I promised myself something I wanted for after I got something done.
While it sounds silly, these drills helped shape my mind. Now when I’m ready to do some work, I click into gear much faster and simply get things done.
4. Schedule It
There is way too much going on for me to remember everything. Without a single-source and clear schedule, I would miss some major events (let alone prepare for them).
Now I make sure I sit down on a Sunday and plan out my week, putting time aside for major activities. I also spend time thinking creatively about how to supercharge my career. I’ll often pick a particular meeting that week and set aside time several days in advance to prepare. Doing this spawns more ideas that I can bring up during the meeting, and I can blow everyone away by looking like I am ten steps ahead of them.
5. Remember Your Failures
When things are going well and you are succeeding, why would you bother getting things done early? I mean, everything is working and will continue to…right?
Nope. You’re human. You’ll fall down. And when you do, keep this in mind:
The key to changing your habits is to remember the failures.
I used to arrive to appointments right on time, until that one time I had a meeting with a senior executive. I left with enough time to spare, but ran into traffic delays. Suffice to say, I’ll never forget the embarrassment and disappointment I faced that day.
Think about the consequences of you not getting your important things done (and done on time) or you’ll risk experiencing actual consequences that will teach the lesson to you instead.
Do you have any anti-procrastination strategies you’ve put in place? Share them in the comments below.
Photo credit: nilob via SXC.HU