How To Stop Procrastinating and Accomplish Your Dreams

We’re all guilty of a lack of action at one point or another. Perhaps the goal seems unrealistic; barren with seemingly insurmountable obstacles booby trapped with embarrassment. It’s easy to become inundated with the possibility of failure when the end-result seems so far-fetched.

Getting things done (GTD) is not a new mantra. The system was popularized by David Allen in which he encourages a filing system of actionable tasks filed into a systematic database of areas of interest. It works for lots of people, but I think there is a golden fortune-cookie hidden in the details of the system.

Focus on what’s next.

It’s simple really. Instead of trying to outline what needs to happen in order for a desired result to come into fruition, choose to place your attention on what needs to happen next and forget about the rest. The rest doesn’t truly matter anyway unless you can accomplish what’s next, right?

I struggle with this to this day. Perhaps those of us who are more analytical by nature are more susceptible to becoming frozen in fear by the sheer number of things that must be done to get a goal accomplished. It’s particularly easy to replicate this fear when you’re on the topic of life dreams; those that take years or decades to accomplish (such as perfecting an artform). It sure seems as though some people “get it” and others don’t from my perspective.

For me, it takes an intention to not get bogged down by the number of tasks that need to get done. Rather, I try and focus on what’s next and forget about all the details that follow it. It’s how I get stuff done. Perfect this art, and you’re likely to look up one day realizing you’ve accomplished quite a bit simply by taking action. Taking action is awesome.

Rather, I try and focus on what’s next and forget about all the details that follow it. It’s how I get stuff done.

This post doesn’t need to be long because the idea is simple. If you’re carrying around a ball and chain, slow to make any progress towards your goals, take a step back and see where your focus lies. Are you scouring over a list of things that need to be done, only to be frozen at the sheer thought of how much time it’ll take to accomplish them all?

The answer is simple: just focus on what’s next.

Comments (5)

    • For the most part, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even write stuff down. I have a goal in mind, so I just innately ask myself, “What’s next?”. Then I go and do that. That’s why I’ll just pick one thing, instead of having a list of three, because if my list had 3 hard tasks I’d probably procrastinate.

  1. My problem is that I will be working on just one and then I get five phone calls, 15 e-mails and then there’s a motorcycle accident outside my window.

  2. I was just talking to a friend last night about this very thing. She also writes a list and checks things off. Typically, my day is filled with interruptions, like Mike – phone calls, email, etc. so I don’t seem to get everything accomplished. For me, it is the sheer number of things that need to be accomplished, but I think there may some value in being able to check things OFF the list. Think I’ll write a master list of weekly “to-dos” and add in the daily tasks.

    • Focusing on “what’s next” is a great way to accomplish much larger projects that seemingly are impossible to start. For smaller tasks, especially those that are repeatable, I’ve found time blocking to be very useful.

      For example – for 3 hours in the morning, I would not answer the phone and focus on lead generation via expired calls, farming, database follow up, etc. At first, I found it difficult to turn the phone off because I like always being available, but that always put me into a reactive state that was very difficult to get out of. Pick my head up and it was time to go home.

      I get much more accomplished when I utilize time blocking for areas of work that needs to be attended to each day.

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