My Struggle with Procrastination and How I am Overcoming It (Part 2)

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  • Phase 1: Reading more books

Acknowledgment

I started in the month of April, 2020. I was tired of trying to talk smart but without having the right understanding and context of issues. I discovered that despite pursuing an advanced degree, my understanding on issues and contributions in class did not meet the expectations I had set for myself. I also realized that I could hardly sustain conversations on topics outside my areas of interest. Also, personal experiences shaped my opinion, and I was quite subjective in my thinking. I had little appreciation for the connection between the status quo and the changing trends on a subject matter. I knew I had great ambition but it became clear to me each day that my skills and knowledge acquired had not prepared me adequately for the next steps in my career life.

20 Things We Learned at Collaborate to Drive Success in 2020
  • My 20-page-rule approach

I had a list of books I always wanted to read so I started to set a rule of reading 20 pages a day.  Bear in mind I had never finished reading a 200-page book before. But what 20 pages a day did was that it helped me to finish reading a 253-page book in 12 days. After I finished my first book (Think and Grow Rich), I was extremely excited to know I could do it. I could not believe it was possible. When I started reading the first 20 pages, I wondered if I could finish. But the following day, I was done with another 20 pages which was very impressive; then it followed with another 20 pages until I had covered 60 pages. Wow! It looked very easy now. In 12 days, I was done with reading 253 pages. I could not believe it. I was elated. I followed it up with a new book: The Science of Becoming Rich. It was 75 pages and within 4 days, I was done. 2 books in 16 days – unbelievable! This was history being made in my life. At this pace, I started reading two books at a time. It looked so possible now. I was reading the 12 Absolutes of Leadership and Authentic Leadership together. Both were a little over 200 pages. I started reading 20 pages each for both books; one in the morning and the other later in the day. I spent an hour and 30 minutes in reading my 20 pages for each book. Within 10 days, I was done with both books. Guess what? I was not just reading. I actually had a personal book in which I wrote interesting facts and points I gathered from reading. Within 26 days, I had read 4 books. For someone who took months and sometimes a year to finish a small book, this approach seemed to work. I continued the same plan in the subsequent months. I will share my struggles at the end of the article.

Paper, Romance, Symbol, Valentine, Love, Book, Open
  • Phase 2: Research – The paragraph rule

I was in my final year of university for my advanced degree and had to complete my thesis. I struggled to start and whenever I started, I could not follow through. So I began to employ the paragraph rule. Following Jim Rohn’s teachings and also my progress on the 20-page rule, I was motivated that I could pull through the research thesis. On the first day, I wrote a paragraph but it didn’t have much information. However, I was persistent and subsequently I discovered that a paragraph became two paragraphs and so on. I eventually got to writing one page a day. My progress was phenomenal.

  • Step 1:Acknowledge the situation

Acknowledging I was a procrastinator was the first step. I did not argue any more with people who told me I was a procrastinator. I had come to accept this weakness of mine. Once I came to terms with it, I made specific changes to my life.

Desperate, Sad, Depressed, Cry, Hopeless, Loss, Concern
  • Step 2: Assess the losses

I tried to identify the losses I had made as a result of procrastination. I started with all the opportunities I had missed as a result of not taking immediate steps to address the concerns of the people who had lost trust in me. This assessment helped me to discover that I had actually told people over eight ideas for various businesses but had actually never put these business ideas into writing or action. Secondly, I discovered several promises I made to people that I never delivered on or practically forgot about.

  • Step 3: Set a target

When I assessed my losses, I discovered that I had actually never set targets. I had it in mind to read a book but never had in mind how many pages I wanted to read a day based on my schedule.

I discovered that I was giving myself tasks based on time I never had or created.

Upset, Mad, Crying, Woman, Sad, Panicked, Adult, Young
  • My failures

After making so much progress within three months, I was impressed with myself and I consider this change to be a major paradigm shift in my life. However, unfortunately, I got distracted along the way due to several factors. This impacted my ability to move at the pace I wanted. The good news is that my ability to achieve great milestones from April to June was my motivation. With time, I picked myself up again to complete this article by using the paragraph rule. I have learnt that I need to take a day at a time and accept that some days may not be as great as others. But in all of this, I am grateful for the small and great leaps I made and continue to make in the journey which continues.

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