There is a saying that if you want to be successful, you have to be willing to do things others don’t want to do.
Even though one of my companies was quite successful in EU funding and we have participated and completed 7 EU funded projects, writing down proposals was always super hard for me.
The administrative work that followed was a real nightmare – for a person like me that likes to be in front of the customer, not at the office desk.
At that time, I was still trapped in the “I have to do it myself” belief, so the administrative work for the first few projects was done mostly by me.
Just to force myself to sit down and start working on a report was simply impossible. I was struggling the whole way through the project.
“You can do this tomorrow” became an automatic response from my central nervous system.
As one of my dear friends would say, “somehow somewhere” I slowly but surely became a procrastinator – a person who habitually puts off doing things.
And this new “habit” of mine slowly started to influence me on other levels of my business. Don’t get me wrong, I was still doing well, but the amount of energy to keep things going was just too much.
I was using muscles pushing, instead of using brains and pulling.
Two things helped me out of procrastination.
One day as my daughter came from school and we were talking at dinner, she mentioned that they learn a new principle of learning, called the “Pomodoro” principle.
She didn’t go into details, but the thing sounded funny enough for me to check it out by myself later.
This 25-minute timer technique was invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and was created after a typical cooking alarm of 25 minutes. The name Pomodoro was inspired by the kitchen alarm that Francesco used to time himself that was shaped like a Pomodoro, which is Italian for ”tomato”.
I gave it a try and suddenly working for “only” 25 minutes seamed short enough for me to do it. More often than not, I got so involved with the material in front of me, that the timer came as a surprise as the time was flying by.
I started to work on the most important tasks in a day by deciding how many “tomatoes” will I invest in the task.
Now I can happily report that I became a “Pomodoro” guy, using this principle to make progress daily.
The second thing that really helped me out of procrastination is this weekly ritual of writing a business article, sharing my own experience and stories.
I didn’t miss not even one Thursday in what will soon be three years. Even though on some days it is really hard to put something down on paper, most of the time the words keep flowing, without me pushing it – like today.
It took me two 25 minute “tomatoes” to write this article.
So, find a quiet place, start the alarm clock and let’s go to work.
you will meet some true professionals, who dealt with procrastination as well. Ask them how they got out if.