Have you ever put off doing something that, if you just did it, could have significant implications for your business?
I know I have. One of my most recent “procrastination challenges” was submitting the application to become an approved vendor for the US Federal Government as a management consultant and trainer. That’s huge!
So, what did I do for two and a half years? I put it off. I spent some time working on it in bits and pieces, trying to get it just right, but mostly I didn’t move heaven and earth to finish it.
Okay, eventually I got it done. Hooray! But how much revenue did that procrastination cost me? How much missed opportunity for dealing with the “big guns” did I lose? We’ll never know, but one thing for sure is that I can’t get it back. And neither can you.
So the real question becomes, how many other things am I putting off that could mean huge returns for me and my business? How can I learn not to procrastinate on the important stuff?
If you’re like me, I found a whole slew of things … once I started to really pay attention to my thoughts and actions (or inactions). Do any of these make you think what you’ve put on the “I’ll do it later” list?
- How about a project proposal that needs putting together?
- What about productivity improvements such as re-organizing the office?
- Is there a commitment looming such as a chapter draft for a book? (Okay, so now you know writing this for you fell into my “procrastination” pile.)
What is on your list – and why does one put these things off?
The first reason that comes to mind is because they are so important! While that may be true, what are the underlying reasons? There are all kinds of them. We may think:
- There’s not enough time.
- I have to get it just right.
- My creative muse isn’t on board.
- It’s too hard.
- I don’t know how to get started.
Do you see what is really going on here?
We have negative thoughts in our mind about: 1) how much time it will take, or 2) how capable we are of doing it. Does this match with your thoughts?
Moving Forward With Full Force
The good news is that you can convert any and all procrastination-driving thoughts into powerful, forward-moving actions!
Imagine fearlessly going forward on vital projects, taking the steps that can bring you fame and fortune!
Can you see yourself bringing in more jobs, getting them done expeditiously, and being praised for your remarkable results? How would you feel when you go through the day, the week, the month, knowing that everything is working smoothly, ahead of schedule and top-notch?
That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? Does it seem like a dream? Something almost unattainable?
If I told you ONE thing you could do to end procrastination and inertia in your business once and for all, would you try it? Sure, you say! YES!
But before I tell you, I’m going to ask you not to pooh-pooh it until you’ve read the rest of the chapter and given it a chance. I know it works. I use it every day, and it never fails.
Thought Is Tangible, Material Substance
It has to do with your thoughts. Yes, I know you already realize that what you think is what you get, and that is all fine and well, but did you know that thought is material substance?
This is key! Thought is actually matter – physical substance. Something theoretically that you could reach out and touch. It’s not just an elusive idea or a non-thing. It is, and has, material substance. It’s a tangible entity. All matter follows the laws of physics. And thought is matter.
We know this to be true from the studies in quantum physics that have proven its molecular structure and energy fields.
We know thought is material substance also from experiences like those with Betty in the book Across The Unknown by Stewart Edward White. She is fervently told from the other side that, “thought is matter.” We are told that we must respect it as such and treat the knowledge of that fact as the answer to all our problems – the means to realizing all we desire. That’s why she stressed, “Thought is material substance”.
The implication here for our business lives is huge. If what you think creates physical matter, then might we want to be more careful with what we have in our minds?
We can’t afford any negative or doubtful thoughts. We don’t want that energy, that material substance, hanging around in our businesses. No longer do we have the luxury of thinking of anything we don’t want. That means no worrying about when the bills are going to be paid; no fears of losing a bid to a competitor; no doubting our ability to present a dynamite speech to a critical crowd.
So what can we do? How can we use this new knowledge to change our world in little — and magnificent –pervasive ways?
Consciously Create Thought Clouds
You’ve heard everyone from Robert Anthony to Joe Vitale, (and of course Norman Vincent Peale), tout the wonders of positive thinking. Now you know why this works. It’s not just a matter of thinking things and they will magically appear, it is the fact that thought is material substance. It IS your reality. So let’s get vigilant and go through a three step process for cleaning up your thought closet.
Step #1: Take a Thought Inventory
Take charge of your thoughts! Assiduously guard your mind from letting anything in that may reek of negativity. You have to be careful, because those little doubts and fears have a way of sneaking in when you least expect them, even in the most positive and confident person’s mind. What about the thought, “I have so much to do, I’ll never get it done”. “I’m too fat.” “That’s going to be difficult to do.”
Do an inventory of your thoughts for a while and see what you come up with. Be cognizant of what goes on in the back of your mind. As you go through your day, notice the subliminal thoughts you have about what is and is not getting done.
Be honest with yourself. You’ll have to take the optimistic spin off your thinking for a while to just notice what is really going on. Is there a part of you that thinks you’re not quite up to the task? What is your reason for not taking on a project? How do you really feel about making a follow up call to a prospect about a new account? Notice how many times you have a slightly doubtful or fearful slant on getting something done.
Step #2: Flip The Negative Into A Positive
Once you’ve identified all the negative thought seeds you’ve been planting along the way, define what you want and flip the negative into a positive. For instance:
- Move from, “I’ll never get all these papers on my desk put away” to “I can file these in a breeze – I’m an organized person.“
- Stop telling yourself, “I’ll never catch up” to “I’m on top of everything I need to do.”
- Switch from, “I bet my prospect has not called me because he has decided against the project” to “I’m going to call him because he’s anxious to get started and he needs my help.”
I could create an endless list, but you get the drift. I guarantee that once you start being on the lookout for your sub thoughts and how they are limiting you, you will be astounded.
Step #3: Encase Yourself In A Thought Cloud
Now comes the fun part. It’s not just a matter of thinking new thoughts. You want to encase yourself, (and the world immediately around you), in a thought cloud of your choosing.
In my mind, I create a mini thought cloud that encircles me. It moves wherever I go. It’s like what you see in cartoons where someone walks around with a rain cloud over his head, and everywhere he goes the cloud stays with him. You want to create a cloud of positive thinking. These can be short term, situation specific, and contrary to what you really think. You can “fake it until you make it” with positivity.
So this is what you want to do with your thoughts when you come to a specific situation – create positive thought clouds. While what you think all day long is important, you can use the reality that thought is material substance and surround yourself with super-charged thought in “tense” situations. For instance, when you’re calling a prospect, temporarily wrap yourself with the thoughts of what you want the outcome to be.
Or perhaps you’re dealing with a difficult employee. For this instance, wrap yourself in the result you want before talking to him or her by creating a thought cloud of it being a productive, beneficial discussion. Because thought is material substance, you don’t have the luxury of harboring the idea that the employee is giving you problems. If you do, that will become your reality – because thought is matter.
Your thoughts rule your life and your business. Make them what you want!