While watching the movie Bang Bang I realized I learnt a new lesson and that gave me a thought to write this article for you. In one of the scenes in the movie, Katrina Kaif told Hrithik Roshan that she is from humble beginnings and hasn’t seen many places. But she expressed that she wants to go around the world and “kabhi to main saari duniya dekhoongi”. To this, Hrithik Roshan replied -“Kabhi to ka matlab hai…kabhi nahin”. What he meant was that if you keep thinking about it and don’t do anything to achieve it, you wouldn’t be able to achieve it ever. Majority of the people in this world belong to one nation and that is called – “Procrasti-nation”, commonly used to describe the “habit to delay things”. If you carefully analyze your day you would realize a majority of the times you are assigned a work or if you want to start something you would surely try and abandon it for some time and try to do it later. How many times it has happened with you that you wanted to start your studies or some assignment/project and thought that you would check Facebook only for 5 minutes before starting that project. Eventually, you realize that one hour has gone and you haven’t yet started the assignment, leading to a criminal waste of your precious time. This habit to my mind is a disease that should be curbed at the right stage otherwise it can lead to disastrous results, results which take you away from performing at your best and becoming a peak performer. Has anyone of you ever wondered why we procrastinate so much when we all know that the habit of procrastination is not good for our career, our life and our overall well-being? Well, the real reason why majority of us procrastinate is “Fear”, the fear of studies, the fear of examinations, the fear to achieve success, the fear of failure, the fear to perform at our best and the fear to be the most productive person ever. And because of this fear, we always try to tell ourselves – “abhi karta hoon, thodi der baad karta hoon, let me finish something and then I will pick up that job etc etc”. We don’t want to face a situation and therefore, we always try to convince ourselves that I am busy and therefore I will do it later. The reality is that we have a fear to do that thing. You might ask why would someone fear success, but that’s the truth. People fear success as much as they fear failure because since our childhood we have been told by our society, by our friends and perhaps by our parents that we cannot be the best in the world, we should always adore mediocrity, that we are not made from the cloth from which achievers and leaders are made. Consequently, we cannot be the best in the world. The world has pulled a veil of doubt and fear over our eyes and this results in a situation of self-sabotage. We start to doubt ourselves, be begin to doubt our capabilities that eventually lead to sabotaging the best within us. The voice of fear within us ultimately leads us to procrastinate because we are afraid to see something extraordinary happening with us and when we are on our path to achieve our best, our inner voice of fear takes over and keeps us away from making it big for us. Just for a moment pause and start to think any activity which you have delayed doing and then carefully analyse the underlying reasons for it. I am very confident the main reason why you would have procrastinated doing that activity would have been some fear, it could either be the fear of not working on it or the fear to achieve it or some other fear that you would be able to identify. It is important that we develop a lifestyle that helps us get away with this disease, rather destroy it completely so that we achieve our best, get the big things done and lead the life of an achiever, and not a mediocre. To share with you, even I was a member of this absolutely useless and non-productive nation -“Procrasti-nation” and had all the bad reasons to procrastinate things until I read this beautiful quote from Charles Dickens and realized this habit was actually a saboteur and making my life go backwards, rather than ahead: “Never do tomorrow, what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time” I actually realized that procrastinate is a thief of time and if I don’t stop it, my life would run away from me and I will be left a mediocre not able to achieve my best. I took a plunge to get away with this obnoxious habit and decided to work on it consciously. I am sharing with you some very practical and useful tips, which I have learnt from my coach and if implemented would surely help you achieve your best: 1. 30-Day Procrastination Diet Chart For the next 30 days prepare a chart and write down every day the activity that you have been resisting to do. And after that JUST DO IT. Ensure that before the day ends, you have done that activity. Keep doing this for the next 30 days. Take a printout of this month’s calendar and each day write down the activity and complete it. It’s my request to stop reading this article further and right away prepare your procrastination chart. Do it RIGHT NOW. The reason of writing the procrastinated items is because by writing things you create a visibility for yourself; those things would be in front of you and will keep reminding you to finish it off. Remember - “things that get scheduled are the things that get done”. Research has shown that will power is a muscle and the more you stretch it, the better it would get. As you start to do what you have been resisting, you start to re-wire your brain and build more will power, resulting in giving you more energy, positivity and helping you beat procrastination. Go for it and experience the new unleashed power within yourself. 2. Daily Exercise works wonders This is something majority of you may not have heard but exercising is one of the most productive tools for humans. We have been listening since our childhood that exercise is important but we are too lazy to do it. Research has shown that when you exercise you release ‘endorphins’ and ‘dopamine’ in your body and these fantastically boost positivity in your brain, your confidence and will power. You can Google it and you will find that these chemicals are helpful for our body and one can get more of them by exercising and having a good diet. Get up early morning (You can read my article on the benefits of getting up early morning’) and start exercising. Once these chemicals start to move up to your brain, you will have different energy levels, which would help build more will power, resulting in destroying the habit of procrastination. I have started exercising and I can be honest with you, this really works and works wonders. You start to feel good, you start to feel light because you would start loosing weight and feel fit and this leads to an increase in your confidence level. 3. Eat the Elephant Please don’t take this literally and start to identify an elephant that can be eaten J. ‘Eating an elephant’ is a saying that means that if you have to eat an elephant, you eat one bite at a time and not the whole elephant in one go. What this literally means is that to achieve a big goal in your life, you should break it down into smaller goals and achieve them gradually, eventually leading you to your main goal. Lot of times when we have a big goal in front of us, we generally get overwhelmed and that leads to either not achieving it or achieving it partially. That’s because a very big goal takes time to fructify and if we base too much of our life satisfaction on achieving the big goal, we would be unhappy for a long time (possibly your whole life). Life is a journey, not a destination Your life satisfaction will be much more higher if you view it as a series of small milestones, rather than one huge milestone that might be difficult to achieve or may take some time. I am trying to suggest that you shouldn’t have a big dream, what I am saying is that the big dream should be broken down in smaller bits and achieving them one by one. Break down you big goals into smaller goals and have a timeline to finish it and move ahead. By having small goals, you also have something concrete to focus on. For example, your biggest goal in student life is to achieve the degree and we all know that’s a big elephant to eat. Break it down into smaller goals such as the time by which you would finish few topics, the time by which you would finish suggested questions, the time by which you would finish off the course before your exams and revise it again. Remember, if you don’t do this way there is a very high possibility of you getting frustrated because obviously eating the elephant takes time (preparing for exams takes time) but if you prepare it in bits then gradually you would realize that you have finished portions of it and only few portions are left. That feeling will give you more confidence. 4. Celebrate the wins It is extremely important that once you have broken down your goals in smaller chunks, you start to enjoy your small wins. Celebrating wins will give you encouragement to do more, encouragement to finish off the remaining tasks, eventually leading to beating procrastination. You will start to enjoy your journey of achieving goals and therefore, become a non-procrastinator. 5. Create a distraction free environment “Mess creates stress” For anyone to fully focus on any activity and finish, it is critical to have no distractions around. If there are distractions around, you will always find ways to procrastinate things, leading to waste of your precious time. How many times it has happened that when you thought of starting something, you got distracted by an SMS or by a WhatsApp message or by a Facebook notification. And then it would have taken you some time to get back to work and focus again on that activity. Distractions like these don’t allow you focus and you will always procrastinate. Remove all the distractions from your life because these are sabotaging your career, these are sabotaging the evolvement of the genius inside you and not letting you be the best in the world. Work or study alone as much as possible, switch off your mobile phone when you want to really focus on your studies or work, do not let any distraction disturb you. Have your desk very clear because if there are too many books or stiff lying on your desk, it would lead to disorder in your life and disorder creates distraction and distraction will lead you to procrastinate. 6. Power of verbalisation This is one of the most powerful tools that I have implemented myself and it has truly helped me beat procrastination and achieve my goals. Verbalizing your goals again and again sends signals to your sub-conscious mind and then the sub-conscious mind starts to focus and achieve that goal of yours. Everyday in the morning and before you sleep, say loudly to yourself whatever you want to achieve for yourself. It can be anything, such as becoming a chartered accountant or becoming a lawyer, or becoming a company secretary or clearing examinations in first attempt or anything for which you are passionate. Read out loudly in front of the mirror or at the time of taking bath or at the time of exercising in the morning, any time. You can use some of the sentences like: If you want to clear exams – “Every day and in every way I am working hard to become a chartered accountant in the attempt of May 2015”; or If you want to get a job – “Every day and in every way I am working towards achieving success in closing my first interview for a job in a BIG4”; or If you want to earn money – “If I am wealthy I would be able help people and therefore, I want to be wealthy” You can write down whatever you want to achieve and then speak them loudly to yourself. It may sound little cheeky to you, but believe me it works. In the end I would urge you to go and do whatever you fear. The more you start to do things that you fear, the more energy and confidence you will achieve. Just go and do it and you will start to realize the best within yourself. Wising you green lights… ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blogwww.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.