Session 4: Retain Your Reward
Congratulations on completing Step 1 of your personally tailored BreakThrough SystemTM, which means you’re well on your way to breaking through procrastination once and for all. (Click or tap here if you haven’t completed the first step in your BreakThrough SystemTM.)
Fear is the main cause of procrastination, so the importance of redefining your fear of failure is to allow yourself to make mistakes and keep moving forward. Success comes from ‘failing forward’, not ‘stopping because I have a fear of failure’.
As John C. Maxwell reminded us, procrastination is a too high price to pay for the fear of failure.
So let’s get straight to Step 2.
BreakThrough SystemTM Step 2: Retain Your Reward
The second step in creating your BreakThrough SystemTM is to retain your reward.
If you identify as a Day Dreamer, not seeing the value or purpose in what you’re doing is probably a major cause of procrastination for you.
But even if you identify with another Procrastinator Persona type (Habitual Hesitator, Impulsive Investor, Sensitive Soul), you will still resonate with how a lack of purpose can derail your plans and cause you to procrastinate.
Everyone does something for a payoff, which is usually your reason or purpose for doing something.
In our job, money is the obvious payoff, but there are other ways we get ‘paid’ for doing what we do.
Being valued and respected, being made to feel equal and welcomed, are also ways we get ‘paid’ from our place of employment.
In our relationships too, we expect to get paid with honesty, friendship, and loyalty.
But what happens when the payoff doesn’t meet your expectations? What happens when the only reason you’re in the job is because of the money? What happens when the stress of your job or relationship isn’t worth it anymore?
You procrastinate! You become frustrated and demotivated and stop doing what you know you should be doing.
Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and author of the bestselling book, Eat That Frog!, says that work will never end—there will always be something to do.
Therefore, the best way to beat procrastination and work toward your maximum productivity is to identify what motivates you to get things done. To identify your payoff or reward.
And the best question to identify your payoff (what I call, ‘Retaining Your Reward’), is to ask yourself this question put forward by Brian Tracy:
“What are my highest value activities?”
Your ‘highest value activities’ are the most rewarding activities where you get most bang for your buck. If you were to evaluate them using the 80:20 rule, these activities would be the 20% activities that deliver 80% productivity and the ones you should be focussing on.
Lower value activities fall into the 80% of activities that only generate 20% of your productivity, and these you are allowed to procrastinate on, what Brian Tracy dubs ‘positive procrastination’.
So, your task for this session is to identify your Top 3 ‘high-value activities’ that generate 80% of your productivity.
To help you with this task, I have developed a Procrastination Matrix which you might like to download and use to identify your highest value activities.
All the activities you do or want to do will tend to fall into 4 categories:
- Do It—Urgent and Important
- Delay It—Important but not Urgent
- Delegate It—Urgent but not Important
- Dump It—Not Important and not Urgent
Your highest value activities are the ‘Do It’ activities: urgent and important for what you determine are your biggest payoff and reward.