Most people set goals. The sad fact is that many of these goals are never achieved. Perhaps you have imagined yourself achieving success in a new venture, and as time passed, the dreams in your mind faded into sad “it could’ve happened fantasies.” As the Director of Real Estate Education at Response, I have listened to a few of these gloomy stories. Recently I pulled up my journal and asked myself what went wrong in those stories. What happened that turned opportunity into unfulfilled dreams? As I reviewed a few of these stories, I found a common ingredient in all of these sad experiences – the ability to control personal time.
Our ability to manage our time will determine how successful we will be in any venture—especially in the field of real estate investing. The word procrastination comes from the Latin word “pro” meaning “in favor of” and “cras” meaning tomorrow. It means delaying or putting things off.
Many successful entrepreneurs have experienced episodes have procrastinated, but have still gone on to achieve great success. The difference is that these people learned how to overcome procrastination by managing their time and their actions. Eric Schmidt is an example of someone who manages time well in order to achieve success. He is an American businessman and software engineer who was the Executive Chairman of Google from 2001 to 2017 and Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017. He said, “If you ask me to do something, I’ll do it immediately. It makes the world more efficient, and it makes me more efficient as an executive.”
When I travel outside my local community, I’m often surrounded by farms with green corn blowing in the wind. As I drive through the fields I’m reminded of the saying, “You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” If you want the crops to grow, you must make the time to act and actually plow the field. Nothing happens if you leave your dreams in your mind. This is why procrastination is known as the silent dream killer.
There is a way for you to overcome procrastination and achieve success in whatever venture you want, and especially in the field of real estate. Let me offer five-steps for overcoming procrastination.
- Step 1 – Recognize when you are procrastinating. If you are actively educating yourself in the field of real estate, it’s safe to say you’re not lazy. However, you may be delaying taking specific action based on your education. In this case you are probably choosing to do something else instead of doing the specific action necessary to accomplish your goal. Perhaps you are ready to place an offer on a property, but always find a reason to delay making the offer. Be honest with yourself and recognize your behavior for what it is.
- Step 2 – Determine the reason you are procrastinating. There may be a valid reason for the delay in action that you need to evaluate. Going back to the offer to purchase mentioned earlier, if the owner is unavailable, that is a valid excuse. But, if you aren’t making the offer because you think that he might not be receptive because it’s late in the afternoon, you are procrastinating. Eliminate non-valid excuses.
- Step 3 – Eliminate negativity from your vocabulary and mindset. Procrastination is a negative form of delay that is related to anxiety, depression, and distress. If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, try to eliminate any underlying causes. In the field of real estate investing, you may feel anxiety in relation to a lack of education and training. Remember that Response has a complete library of training, techniques, and resources available for your use. Take advantage of the opportunities for real estate education at Response.
- Step 4 – Commit to the task. Focus on the act of doing something. Avoid delaying any actions necessary for completing the goal. Try to differentiate the immediate task from the overall objective. Work at breaking down large goals into micro tasks. Imagine yourself as the farmer plowing the field. Think of one completed row plowed instead of the whole field. But, commit yourself to finishing first the task and then the objective – finish plowing the whole field.
- Step 5 – Eliminate distractions. Distractions can take many shapes. If you are influenced by friends or associates who don’t have confidence in your decisions, find new friends who will support you and your goals. If you are distracted by social media and email, avoid these platforms. Your goal in overcoming distractions is to eliminate them whenever and wherever you can.
Procrastination is a passive energy that can derail and completely destroy dreams and ambitions. If you allow it to, it can keep you from completing both short-term tasks and long-term goals. Remember that you have the ability to counter this threatening force by using the strategies above. And when you do overcome your procrastination, you will eliminate a large roadblock to unlimited success.