Success Factor - Business mentor and life coach based in Christchurch, New Zealand
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Putting a Stake in the Ground Creates Action

Procrastination as we know is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline.

This may be ‘just what we do’ i.e. this is our normal in that we habitually delay starting or finishing a task despite knowing this may have negative consequences.

Often these tasks or actions are those which we don’t want to do, or don’t like to do, and so we avoid them, sometimes not even starting them, or we start and don’t finish.

This doesn’t create action. This can make us feel we’ve failed or not achieved. This can be de-motivating. This also means we won’t achieve our goals or make us feel good. We certainly won’t feel productive.

So how can we avoid the above and kick the procrastination out the door?

The key, as I see it is, we need to put a stake in the ground, metaphorically speaking of course.

What is this, and how do we do this?

I will share a personal example to illustrate what I mean.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of running for a number of reasons, which meant I had decided against registering for the 18km run in January 2021, instead registering for something I’d previously done, the 10km because I hadn’t been training, telling myself I would aim to do this the following year.

A good friend and colleague reminded me there is always going to be something that will hinder me from aiming higher, and that by putting a ‘stake in the ground’ i.e. registering for the 18km in January 2021, would motivate me and give me something to aim for.

Of course, he was right! This provided me with the motivation and determination I needed. I registered myself for the 18km run and have been running regularly in the mornings since!

Whether we procrastinate on a work, health or fitness task, and whatever the reason we tell ourselves we will do it ‘another time’, sometimes either sharing this with someone who can encourage us to put the stake in the ground is the best way to push us into committing.

The next step of course is setting ourselves small and regular tasks and focusing on the deadline date for our goal, considering the ‘challenge has been set’.

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