One of the questions I get asked most often is "How can I stay motivated to focus on my dreams and goals and stop procrastinating?" Let's establish right out of the gate that the procrastination isn't happening because of laziness. It's simply because you're not clear on a few things that we're going to fix right now.
The first step in finding the motivation is to identify what kind of PAIN not doing so is causing you. What dreams and goals aren’t you getting to and how will you feel, what will your life look like in a year or three or five if you don’t start making them a priority?
It’s all about what we Focus on because whatever we focus on becomes bigger. The key to harnessing our secret weapon of Focus is learning to be less reactive to the things in our lives that drain our energy and pull us further and further away from what we really want. I created a process that I take myself through and the tens of thousands of people I get to coach, that forces us to identify exactly where our Focus should be—on the things we really care about.
Have you ever taken the time to figure out what your Priorities are? If not, that’s the first step. Priorities are the things that are so important to you right now—the non-negotiables in your life—that not serving them simply is not an option. Whether they include making healthy choices every day, being present for the most important people in your life or growing a successful career or business, you have to know what you want to Focus on.
Then, the next step is to set Goals that serve your Priorities, instead of a bunch of arbitrary ones that you think you should go after or that others tell you are important. These Priorities and Goals give you a roadmap of where to spend your time. And if something you’re doing doesn’t serve your Priorities and Goals, then you don’t do it. I include this entire process in my book, You Can Have It All, Just Not at the Same Damn Time. The reality is, we often procrastinate doing the hard stuff that actually gets us closer to our dreams because, well, it’s hard. And the things that distract us are often a heck of a lot easier. But when you’ve invested the time to figure out what you want, you’ll be more likely to have laser-like Focus on those things and a willingness to do them, even if they’re hard and scare you.
And here’s something essential for all of us wanting to avoid distractions that lead to dream-delaying procrastination: Take back control over technology!
How much time have you wasted staring at one screen or another, mindlessly consuming useless media? I encourage you to figure that out because it will shock you.
By implementing behavioral changes, you can begin to minimize your screen time to the bare essentials. Use the Do Not Disturb setting. Set a timer. Turn off notifications. Set a five-minute timer when you hop on social media and get off when the timer goes off. Don’t turn to your phone every time you have a few spare minutes because when you do, you’re feeding the addiction. You’re also perpetuating the procrastination. Do whatever it takes to limit your dependence on technology so you can Focus that time on building a life filled with All you want, instead of filling it with a bunch of things that ultimately don’t matter to you.