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What Is The #1 Real Tool To Stop Procrastinating?

I am reading for the second time this wonderful best selling book from Napoleon Hill published in 1937 and entitled: “Think and Grow Rich.” (the book is available at Cheap’Shop, the online store of ONLY self-improvement materials). In the chapter 8 of this original version, Napoleon Hill talks about the mastery of PROCRASTINATION and he said: “Accurate analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure disclosed the fact that LACK OF DECISION was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of FAILURE. This is no mere statement of a theory, it’s a fact.” Well, again, I am quoting a book which original version is dated in 1937. Yet, in today’s 21st century, has the problem really changed? Why do we still procrastinate? Are people really aware of how much procrastination cost them in terms of business, saving, education, opportunities…? What could the one real tool to stop that ever-lasting disease called PROCRASTINATION and that affect everyone with no distinction of age, profession, race, location?

Napoleon Hill describes procrastination as the opposite of decision. Personally, I’d say it’s not just a lack of decision, it’s a lack of action. I started my career in the Coaching industry with Southwestern Consulting, the sales training company of the 150-years old Southwestern Company based in Nashville,TN. During their “Success Starts Now Seminars” entitled: “What Separates Top Producers To Average Producers”, they talk about the Law of Diminishing Intend. Here is what that law says:”The longer you wait to dosomething that you know you should do now, the greater the chances are it will never actually get done.” I know, I am not teaching you anything new here. I know that law, and you know it too even if you were not aware of it as a law, you probably noticed due to experience that things you don’t take care now, you will probably not take care of them tomorrow. So you take a decision which is to postpone instead of taking action right now. Think about the last time you said you will go to the gym after work. You probably went back home, phoned a friend while switching the TV on, opened your fridge to see what is there to eat, then sat down eating and talking while watching TV and at the end you said…I’ll go tomorrow to that gym.

Now, let’s talk about how much it cost you and to your family when you form the habit of procrastinating. Rory Vaden, the Self-Discipline Strategist and Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting will probably tell you that procrastination is nothing but a discipline matter that can be solved if each of us  take the decision and commit to form the right habits: be WILLING to do what you are supposed to do at the time you are supposed to do it (period). His thoughts of the purchase price of procrastination is linked to the pain paradox stating that: “tasks or decisions that are difficult in the short term tend to have very large long term payoffs while tasks or decisions that are easy to engage in the short term tend to have very large long term consequences.” In his blog at Take The Stairs where he publishes his articles he gives this wonderful example to show how much it can cost to procrastinate:

**********The following comes from the Purchase Price of Procrastination by Rory Vaden**********

A study by of 10,000 people reported the average employee wastes 2.09 hours each day at work on these 5 activities.

Top 5 Time Wasting Activities (%)

  1. Surfing Internet (personal use) 44.7%
  2. Socializing with co-workers 23.4%
  3. Conducting personal business 6.8%
  4. Spacing out 3.9%
  5. Running errands off-premises 3.1%

The Average salaried employee in the US makes $39,795 per year which translates to costing a company approximately $10,396 per year per employee.  So if you’re a business owner here is the question: how many employees do you have?

If you’re an employee you should care because imagine what benefits could be offered to you without this cost. And also it should tell you that by eliminating those 5 activities from your schedule you should outperform your colleagues by 20-25%. That margin of separation has to increase your likelihood of promotion and/or pay increases.

**********End of the Quote: For more info visit the Take The Stairs blog. To learn Rory Vaden visit his Expert page at**********

So yes it can definitely cost you money to procrastinate all the time. Personally, I believe the one real tool that can help solve this problem is nothing but ACTION. I believe, if we decide to be disciplined enough in forming the habit of always taking action, with time we will conquer procrastination and the next battle will be to take the right action. Let’s say you had to go to the gym and for whatever reason at this time you do not feel like running, well, just go even if it’s for 5 min. If someone is offering you a service and you are not sure you want to buy, just tell the salesperson “yes” or “no”, NOT “maybe”. Procrastination has nothing to do with the quality of your decision but your ability to reach decisions promptly. As quoted in the Napoleon Hill book, analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark disclosed the fact that every of them had the habit of reaching decision promptly, and of changing decisions slowly. That’s how you master that everlasting disease called procrastination.
To get Napoleon Hill’s book or any other self-help books about procrastination and more, visit Cheap’Shop, the online store of ONLY Self-improvement products.

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2 thoughts on “What Is The #1 Real Tool To Stop Procrastinating?

  1. Hey Max!

    I just came across your blog from a group in LinkedIn. You touch on some great points about procrastination. I’m guilty, as most people are. I have been a fitness guy since the age of 10, and have not missed more than a handful of days in all these years of working out, and yet, when it comes to things like “cold calling” I procrastinate like crazy.

    If I could apply my dedication to this horrible act (cold calling) that I do for fitness, I’d be a millionaire 😦

    When it comes to my fitness, I do not allow self talk to creep in. EVER! I just do it daily anyways. Whether I want to or not. That, I think, is the secret, “do it no matter what”.


    Posted by Mike Pedersen | August 29, 2010, 8:59 am
  2. Mike, Thanks for your feedback. I went to check out what you do at with what you call the “THANK YOU” marketing and I believe you got a niche there that people need help with.
    Coming back to the procrastination issue you face with cold calling, again, the solution is just pick up your phone and start dialing. Dustin Hillis from Southwestern Consulting talks about the RAFT technique: Realize something is happening (you don’t feel like cold calling or you want to procrastinate), Accept (don’t deny your issue, but accept it’s happening), Focus (put your eyes on your controllable like swith your TV off, internet off, email box off, personal call off, coffee or cigarette break off), Transform (transform your negative energy in positive one. use self talk re-think of why you are in business, or of how much it cost you everytime you procrastinate.)
    Hoping this feedback is helpful. Thanks again for your feedback and if you like the post please consider sharing it to your network. Thanks!

    Posted by Max-Marc Fossouo | August 30, 2010, 8:20 am

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