Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Orville and Wilbur Wright were two American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They got a bucket of bolts off the ground and did not try to build a space shuttle. They just got started. They made some some movement and got a plane off the ground!
I love what Angel Chernoff says, " Do you put off doing things that would bring you closer to your desired goals? I know I do. But why are we so foolish?"
There are many times in my life I find it hard to get started on a task. As a teacher, I’ve got a lot of papers to grade. Grading is one of my least favorite things to do as a teacher. However, I’ve noticed that if I just put butt in chair, turn on some 70’s classic rock music, and just begin to grade a few papers, that this small amount of movement is the catalyst which gets me going in the right direction.
One day in class I looked at my students with a very serious look and said, “Ok, Mr. Brown is going to say a bad word. Not only a bad word but a very bad word. Some of you will cringe and maybe even walk out of class. Hang in there, get over it, I’m going to say the P-word!” All eyes were wide open. Some had looks of great anticipation while others were on the verge of saying, “No, don’t do it Mr. Brown. You might get fired!” Suddenly, I went for it. “Ok, here it is, the P-word, PROCASTINATION! There, I said it!” There was a brief pause and then the class burst into laughter. “Mr. Brown, I’m so offended!” Others said, “Say another bad word Mr. Brown, I dare you!?” The enemy to task initiation is procrastination. We all procrastinate but when procrastination becomes a habit, that’s when it will really have a negative effect upon our lives. Think about it. When has procrastination done any of us good? When I procrastinate, I get the dreadful stressed feeling in my stomach, I feel anxious and I notice I tend to get down on myself. “Michael, you suck. You should have been doing this or that days or weeks ago but …”
Task initiation is very important in so many areas of our lives but make no mistake about it, task initiation is hugely important in the work world. Think about it. If you are seen as a person who gets started right away on a task at work, your coworkers and supervisor will have nothing but very positive things to say about you. However, if you have the reputation as a procrastinator, yikes. Not good.
3 Things to do to stop the "P-word":
1. Give it a Number
When I have several tasks to do all at once, I write all my tasks down on a piece of paper. Next, I give each task a number of importance. Number 1 is most important, next will be number 2...
Now that I have my tasks numbered in what I like to call "What's important now?" I simply decide what needs to be done. I do a little bit of strategizing. I keep in mind the Wright brothers and just get started.
Do means to-do! Get going! Begin! Start! Ready, set go! You get the point.
Just get started!
Tell me what things do you procrastinate the most with? Are there some things you do which have helped you smack the P-word? Tell me.