Category Archives: Procrastination

Not Making Progress on Your Goals? Don’t Worry There is Plenty of Time…..

We are now three weeks into the new year.  How is 2018 going for you?  Making progress on your new year’s resolutions?  Are you making progress towards your 2018 goals?  If not then don’t worry – there is always next week, next month or next year…….

Or so we tend to think!

However out of the blue people get sick.  People get cancer,  people have accidents and get killed, even celebrities get sick and die suddenly.  We have seen many celebrities die over the past few years.  Just recently Irish musician and singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan of the group Cranberries passed away unexpectedly (R.I.P).  She was only 46 years old and in London to record a cover of her hit song ‘Zombie’ with hard rock band Bad Wolves.   She had left a message with one of the band the night before saying how much she was looking forward to seeing them in the studio the next day to record vocals.  Within hours she was dead – we wait for the inquest to know why but foul play is not suspected.  Sadly in an instant all her dreams, goals and plans are gone.  Sadly we will never get to hear that cover version of ‘Zombie’.

But of course death or serious injury or disability always happens to somebody else.  It will never happen to us and in our reasoning it will always happen to somebody else.   In terms of all our goals and our dreams we estimate that we are going to live the average life and therefore we can say well I’ve got another x number of years to live.   Plenty of time to do all the things that I want to do.  Someday I’m going to be rich.  Someday I’m going to buy that house.  Someday I’m going to go on that holiday.  It’s all gonna happen someday.   But the reality is that we don’t know just how long we have got.

Therefore we should never put our goals and dreams off until tomorrow, next week or next year.  We should never postpone our dreams because we may just unexpectedly run out of time.   Make sure you are spending your time on things that really matter to you.  Yes you and I have to pay bills.   But we need to make sure also to spend at least some part of our day working on our dreams and goals because we just never know how long we actually have and that somebody else might just become me.  Life is like a clock and we just never know when those hands will stop and if we are not careful we will die with all our goals and dreams still inside us.

Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.”

The Clock of Life

“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour………..
…..So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.”
― Robert H. Smith

Activation Energy & How to Overcome Barriers to Starting Something New in 2018

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy which must be available to a chemical system with potential reactants to result in a chemical reaction. Activation energy may also be defined as the minimum energy required to start a chemical reaction.

The term has also been used by psychologists to describe the motivation required to begin a task.   It could also be the energy needed to move from doing something on auto pilot to doing something new.

I know in my own life activation energy is an issue I grapple with.  Where do I get the energy to write a new post on this website?  I certainly didn’t feel like it today!  It’s much easier to surf the internet and waste time doing pleasurable mindless tasks.  Where or how do we get the energy to do something we don’t want to do/something we have been procrastinating on?

Experiments to try out

Below are three things to experiments with in your life to overcome the activation energy needed to start tasks.

1. The 10 minute rule:

The 10 minute rule is one of the 28 actionable experiments in my book ‘Experiments in Personal Change’ and I love it.  Simply tell yourself, “I’m going to do this for 10 minutes. Once I get to the 10-minute mark, I’ll decide whether to keep going.”  More than likely once you have done something for 10 minutes you will decide to keep going.  There is a saying in Irish ‘Tús maith, leath na hoibre’ which means A good start is half the work.  All you need to do is get started and already you are half way there!

2.  Count from  5 down to 1 (5 second rule)

Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then move!  It’s that simple.  You don’t feel like getting off the couch? Right, do the countdown and then move your arm, your leg or any part of your body.  Once you move it’s easier to keep going.  If I don’t feel like getting out of bed I do the countdown and move – any movement at all makes me get out of bed…..it’s almost like the movement breaks a trance and you just continue.  Mel Robbins explains the 5 second rule in talk below.

3.  Make yourself accountable to someone else

Finally, make a date with someone else. It’s easy to back out of something, be it a walk or a run, a trip to the gym, or anything else, if you have no accountability.

Activation energy is really important to our success in 2018 so make sure you are ready to overcome obstacles when  you don’t feel like doing something (which will be most of the time!).  Remember ‘Tús maith, leath na hoibre’

Best Wishes,

Tom

PS. You also might have other ideas on overcoming activation energy needed to start tasks/start new things that have worked for you.  You are  invited to share your ideas below so that others can benefit from your experiences (thanks in advance).