The Four C’s Method to Stop Procrastination and Start Getting Stuff Done

Work Stress out at ComputerAre you tired of procrastinating and want to finally learn how to start getting stuff done? There are many methods and systems out there that can be used to overcome your habit of procrastination. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

However, in this article, I want to focus on a method that learned about a few weeks ago called the Four C’s method.  This method employs what can be considered to be a four-step process to beating procrastination.  By breaking it down into steps, your ability to cross things off of your to-do list will improve.

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” – Wayne Gretzky

Commit: Make a Commitment to Get Stuff Done

One of the first things that you will need to do to accomplish any goal or task is to commit to actually getting it done.  Commitment can be tough and depending on the task at hand, you may land anywhere on the commitment spectrum.  Sometimes making a commitment requires developing courage (see the next “C” below) and conquering your fears of getting started.

Speaking from personal experience I can say that I am not much of a procrastinator most of the time. However, there are occasions where a particular task seems so cumbersome and dreadful that I start seeing myself putting it off “until the time is right.”  When I catch myself making excuses or saying “I’ll do that tomorrow,” I realize that a personal commitment is needed on my part to actually get this task done.

Commitment is an action word.  I find that scheduling time to focus on a tough task is one of the best ways to get it done. Setting yourself up for success by creating the right environment and giving yourself the right tools will also go a long way to actually getting things done.  Get support from others or delegate any work you can so that you can clear some time to beat procrastination.

Courage: Develop the Courage to Overcome Your Stumbling Blocks

commitment surfing big waveHaving the courage to accomplish difficult things is vitally important to your eventual success.  Most things in life worth accomplishing will require you to have the courage to step out of your comfort zone and begin the task.  Life is hard and those with courage will be the ones to succeed.

Years ago I remember procrastinating on preparing for a presentation that I was going to give for a local special interest group.  I had the knowledge and technical savvy to make the presentation, however, my fear of public speaking held me back from sitting down and preparing the slides and visuals for the audience.

At some point, I made the realization that if I didn’t find the courage to finish my presentation (and then to go give it) that I might as well throw in the towel now.  It would have been career suicide as my talk was well advertised on websites and in the local newspapers.  Instead of giving up, I cleared my calendar for the rest of the day and closed my office door so I could focus on getting ready for my evening talk. About five hours later I had an engaged and satisfied audience before me.

Courage can come in many forms.  For some people, they just need to hear some inspiring words from a friend or mentor. For others, dreaming of success and the eventual feeling of accomplishment is all that’s needed to develop the courage to get stuff done.  And still for others, like myself in the example above, understanding the consequences of not getting the task done is motivation enough to push through your fears.

Capability: Develop the Capability to Succeed

When it comes to accomplishing your goals or getting any task done, ensuring that you have the tools available to succeed is extremely important.  In addition to this, it’s always a good idea to ask for help when you need it.  Sometimes a good mentor is all that’s needed to finally experience the personal growth needed to start tackling those tough tasks in both your career and personal life.

Another important factor in giving yourself the capability to get things done is to create the right environment to do so.  In many ways, it’s the little things that can help you. Consider the ergonomics of your desk or chair as well as the temperature of the room and the lighting.  If the room is too loud (or too quiet) this can make it difficult to focus on your work.  In addition, consider how you are feeling at the moment as well.  Tackling a tough project is made even more difficult if you are sick, tired, and/or hungry.

When setting the stage for success it also helps to remove distractions.  Turn off the TV and avoid the many other perils of technology if you can. Playing games and scrolling through Facebook isn’t going to help you succeed or to get anything done.

Confidence: Gain the Confidence to Keep Going

confidence man standing in urban area buildingsThe final step in learning how to crush procrastination is developing the confidence to keep doing it.  With each boost in commitment, courage, and personal capability, you will be able to accomplish more and more each day. Lean on your past successes to help fuel your ability to continue climbing the mountain in front you. Celebrate your victories and learn from your failures.  Understand that growth is continuous and that marking tasks off of your to-do list makes room for bigger and better things to take their place.  With confidence, you will learn to overcome procrastination and seize the opportunities that life has to offer everyone.

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” – Stan Smith

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