11 Jan, 2022#182 How To Beat Procrastination
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” – Charles Dickens
I want to tell you something important about procrastination…but I’ll do it tomorrow. A classic joke. But seriously, procrastination has been and still is a habit a lot of us have. How many important things have you delayed working on because you simply don’t feel like doing it?
In this episode, listen as I talk about procrastination, how it interferes in our lives, and how knowing who we are and who we want to become can help us focus and be triumphant against procrastination.
✅ You have the power to make changes in your life. You just have to figure out what you are going to do with that power.
✅ Fight through the feeling of not feeling it. You are more than what you think.
✅ Life is a competitive event, not with others, but with yourself.
Some important stories in this episode:
(8:32) How James Peters made me realize that I am putting off change that needs to be done in my life.
So how to beat procrastination? Make the decision of who you need to be.
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Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people. Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.
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Pete Cohen 0:00
Happy beautiful, amazing fantastic days. Pete Cohen, it's the Mi365 Podcast. Today we're talking about how to beat procrastination. I'll see you after the theme tune.
Pete Cohen 0:52
The big question is, how is some people in the world today creating the results they want but their health, wealth and happiness? The my 365 podcast is dedicated to giving you those answers as you go from living a life by chance to an extraordinary life by design.
Pete Cohen 1:15
Happy beautiful day. Thank you so much for joining me today. How To Beat Procrastination. Well, this is a subject that I've probably spoken about a few times. But you know, I was really kind of putting this one off. Could you born that was a joke. Procrastination is I don't know what it means to to you, but I know what it means to me. And there's a couple of really key elements that I really want to share with you that absolutely essential to understand what procrastination is. But what it is to me it might be something it might be different to you. The word procrastination comes from the Latin words but basically meaning to put off until tomorrow, right? I did a podcast about this. I think in 2017 my podcast now Mi3656 years old in 2022, close to 400 episodes, and they've all been about one thing helping people wake up to the realities of who they are and who they could become. And then giving people inspiration tools, tips, techniques, to really go after who they can be. You know, we're talking this life so much about knowing your why and I think I was in a clubhouse room. And they were talking about how important that is. And they've been talking about it for a long time and I came in the room and I just basically said I think it's bit overrated to be honest. You might know your why but if you don't know your who, you know, then forget it. Forget it. Why do you think lots of people know what they're wise but why did so many few wife very few people actually get what they want. So right now you are going to take a moment to think about what you want. What do you want? Tell me what you want in any area of your life. Tell me what you want. And then you told me and I said okay, look, just give me a minute because I want to go and see how likely you are to achieve that. You know if I was a bookmaker and you know, I could then look at your Form I had access to your your history. I'd say this and I'm sorry, this is a million to one shot and you achieving that the odds are stacked against all of us in life, really. But the odds the odds are also stacked in our favor. It just really depends on a couple of things. I believe it depends on there's a few key factors, but one of them is it's not your y it's your who Who do you need to be? Who do you actually need to be? Who is that person for you to get what you want. That to me is the fundamental now you could say though, that's all to do with your wife as well, of course, you know, but why would you want to be that person? Who is that person? How do they think how do they move through the world you know the one in the future that you in the future? That is what now is that you are in the future better than you are now. Is that you in the future healthier is that you in the future stronger? I don't know. I don't know you in the future but I tell you what, I know me in the future. I know exactly who that person is. And I know you know, I know it's not going to be an easy ride. But the joy is in the becoming you know, why do you think people love this film so much whether it's rocky one rocky to Rocky three rocky four rocky five Rocky Balboa rocky at 100 Creed one creed two is ultimately it's all about who you are becoming.
Pete Cohen 4:50
The reality is, who you're becoming is exactly who you are today because human beings are incredibly predictable. And if I say to people who you're going to be in a year's time and they want in and they tell me what they want. I say well I bet if I saw you in a in a year's time, you'd be exactly who you are now just a little bit older, maybe a little bit more overweight. Of course I don't say that to everyone. But sometimes you've got to be you've got to be a bit harsh, right? Sometimes just make people realize I mean, you know, the Christmas carol the dickens How many of you remember that when squid Scrooge basically sees this is not a true story, by the way. But when Scrooge sees how his future will turn out, if he doesn't change, he's massively motivated to move away from where he is and create something better. And people are putting that off. That's what procrastinate procrastination, all procrastination is really all it is. It's putting something forwards. This is the three key elements. about procrastination. The first thing is putting something it's knowing that there's something you can do. It's having the intention to do something, you have the intention, right. My intention is to do this. Something that in the areas that most of us want to progress in in some way is our health. Right? We we love the idea of being healthier and having more energy we'd love that if you didn't have to do anything all you have to say I want that. How many of you would just put hands on me go Yeah, I want that and just wave the wand and watch. All of a sudden you've got a six pack. You're healthy. You've got loads of energy, no pain in your body. You're just on fire. Yeah, you've got what you want. And the other two areas, you relationships. Most people want better relationships with the people around them. And they want a better relationship with themselves. And a lot of people want to improve their what they do professionally. Maybe they want to have more money. Maybe they want more freedom. Maybe there's a book they want to write there's something there's a collaboration they want to start. So and we know that there are certain things that we could do most of us know there are certain things that we we have the intention of improving those things. Right. It's so important to know that first and foremost the second element of procrastinating is delaying those things. It's delaying it's Oh, no, no, no. I'll do that tomorrow. I'll exercise tomorrow. I'll start that tomorrow. I'll look at that tomorrow. Manyana minion. I'll do it later. So that's the second step. And the third step and this is the harsh one. It's knowing just hang on a second I can hear cats fighting outside and one of those cats is probably mine. So hold your horses
Pete Cohen 7:56
the question is, do I keep that in the podcast? Probably. I was thinking about putting that off, but I'm very protective of of my cat. Let me just repeat that again. So important to understand. procrastinating. What is it? Well, basically, you have the intention to do something. We have you have the intention. You want to know that there's something to do but you delay it. And the third thing is you just know you just know deep down you putting something off. And you can you can fall for some people some of the time but you can't fool yourself because I think deep down we all know we all know you know I knew for some time that you know I was eating foods that I was just there were things that were just I just kind of justified it for a while. And then I just woke up and I was putting it off. I was putting it off and then something happened. Two things happened. Something happened. That wasn't nice at all. It was horrible. And that really just woke me up again and then it happened again and it woke me up again looking this is something that happened. And then one of the people I coach, one of the people I coach who I'm a big fan of a guy called James Peters he he said something which just kind of blew me away because when we look at a great strength of a human being one of the greatest strengths of a human being is self control. There's no question about it, I'd put it way up there is one of the top qualities of a human being self control, delaying gratification doing what you need to do. I just I don't I think it's it's like an absolute essential element of success. And when I realized that that actually was what there's a character strengths and character finder that anyone can do. You can do it online online, the VI a strength and character finder, you can do it and I bet you that self control delaying gratification is not in your top 10 I'd put money on it. His was number three and I was like wow and knowing knowing James, I know that it wasn't always like that he decided to practice it just like practice building a muscle he decided to get good at it. And I just thought you know what, I'm being a bit of a fraud here. Here I am coaching all these people and I'm kind of just justifying to myself that it's okay for me to eat certain foods, you know? And now it's like no way. So two months. I'm not putting that off anymore for two months. You know, I've made a decision and I'm living the decision. That's my choice. No rice, no pasta, no bread, no potatoes. No sugar. And that's my choice. I don't I'm not telling everyone they should make that but I'm not putting that off anymore. Because I know that it's like for me, like in ingesting little bits of arsenic every single day. It wouldn't Not one bit. It's gonna kill me. But I know ultimately, it's going to end in one place. You know, I'll end up in a place I don't want to be. I'm not putting that off. So for me procrastination is apt if that was the only thing that you got from this podcast is just knowing that that's what procrastination is. Right? It might not be that to you, but it's definitely that to me is having the intention is delaying the intention. And then just knowing that you should have done that you could have done that that would have advanced you. It's fascinating, right? Absolutely fascinating to know, but what I encourage you to think about is what are you putting off in your life? What is it that you're putting off? That's eating you up inside? That's just not allowing you to
Pete Cohen 11:35
be the person that you want to be. See we live in a world where it's fascinating to me is as fascinating as it's ever happened that a lot of people I think around the world are just drifting and becoming consumers. We live in a world where we want people to put things off we want people and this sounds really harsh, but I think there's a lot of Imagine if everyone around the world decided to become healthier. Right? Just imagine that. Right? They exercise more, they calm down, they get a good night's sleep, that well, you know, just imagine what that would do to the pharmaceutical industry. Just imagine what that would do. More slowly but surely it would disappear and how much money do the pharmaceutical companies make from people taking drugs that they probably don't need to take if they change their lifestyle? We live in a world that is is wants you to sit still and scroll and to eat food. Imagine if we all just stopped eating sugar we just you know it's gonna happen at one point in terms of it'll get to a point where just like it was with cigarettes and alcohol, it becomes less acceptable because it's what it's causing is causing more problems than it's giving in terms of giving the world you know, I say this a lot but in America, you know, reading Kelly McGonigal his book, The Joy of movement, 97.3% of Americans are unhealthy. 97.3% And it's not just America 97 points 97.3. And it just comes up to that Napoleon Hill thing again, you know, 2% 2% 2% of people aren't putting things off. You know why? Because they know who they need to be. They know who they need to be. They've have a relationship with that person. They're playing a bigger game. And if you're not playing a bigger game, you will put things off, because why bother? What's the point you're just wait for a disaster to come along. And then once the disasters gone, you'll just you'll go back to what you know. Isn't it fascinating human beings go back to what they know. Isn't it fascinating. It's like this like most important story I've ever heard. The story of man. The story of Adam and Eve. What are they told don't eat fruit from the forbidden tree? What do they do? They give in to temptation. How many times have we given into temptation, how many times it don't give you you can give yourself a hard time about any of this stuff if you want to, but that's not going to solve anything. It's just like becoming aware. That's the first step in the first words that were ever written. As far as we know Sanskrit there's a word for being a hero in the beginning. Now fascinating. There is a word for being a hero in the beginning. It's a Rubik Assura or something to that effect that people would start things and stop. Isn't that thank you thing that's amazing that they work this out when it's in the Bible. You know, lead us not into temptation. Well, I don't know if God can actually do that for you, especially if you don't believe in God. But even if you do believe in God, don't Can God stop you from putting your hand in the cookie jar? Can he stop you from picking up a pint of beer? Kenny? I don't know. And even if he could would you want him to? Or would you want to do it? Would you want to feel I feel the power? You know? I would just absolutely love to know as someone who just is fascinated by the potential of human beings, what can you do with what you have and what will be one of your greatest achievements? Will your greatest achievement Be who you actually how you became who you became right? I mean literally because you know, the fact is, you know the fact right, you know the score technology because you have something you know what you have you know what you have
Pete Cohen 15:36
you have the power you have the power to do what?
Pete Cohen 15:49
You see ultimately it's all down to one thing
Pete Cohen 15:58
you have a choice. This is what Jim Rohn talked about, you know the thing that separates us from all other animals and plants is choice.
Pete Cohen 16:12
And here's the challenge Who are you choosing to become? Who is it that said the most expensive land in the world is the graveyard?
Pete Cohen 16:34
You know, you've got the power. What are you doing with it? What are you doing with it? You know, and I know this sounds like I'm having a go at you. Let's just wake up to what's going on. I heard someone speaking yesterday about some major health challenges that she has. And it's not surprising that so many people have major health challenges because we're living in a world that's saying it's acceptable. It's acceptable to eat McDonald's. It's acceptable it should not be acceptable. These things they shouldn't be allowed but that they're here you can't stop them. You want to take them on, take them on. You know take them all on take on the producers of foods that just make I was in a garage getting some petrol the other day and literally on either side of me. It's just he everything is just food that man does not need man does not need any of that doesn't need it doesn't it doesn't it gives some man something it gives them a high there Drax right? It's that that's how it is they're addictive. You have one bite you want another bite? And to walk through that aisle to get to the end you know I've got self control because I have what you see with that power, become those immense responsibility because when you look at the nature of the mind, in Buddhism, they call it dukkha and Hinduism they call it Maya. In our brains, there's a part of it that just is very much survival made, that just wants to survive just wants to fit in. If we don't learn to call our impulses we just it's so easy to give into temptation lead us not into temptation, while I asked you to really wake up to the fact of okay, we know this, who do you actually want to be Who do you want to become what's radically important to you and to think about this? We were I was talking about this yesterday about driving. What is driving you right now? What is what's driven you to get to this point in your life and well done congratulations seriously, for getting to this point. It's incredible. What you have done to get here the price that you must have paid to get here I'm um, I'm just you might not be where you want to be. And I say that sometimes people think I'm crazy, but I say I'll never be where I want to be, you know. And it's not that I'm not happy where I am. I've had to learn to be in the moment. But what I'm talking about is there's always somewhere to go. And I'm not gonna stop right until you know, I get enough. And I don't think I'll ever get enough until I die. But that's me. That's me. That doesn't have to be you. You know. Michael's not here anymore, but I am. And it comes down to the one big question, what do you want to do with what you have? Because now it's time for a bit of math. I hate maths. still count with my fingers. So when it comes to motivation, right, there's an equation for motivation. And it's m equals e times V over i times D of course you all y'all knew that right?
Pete Cohen 20:12
So I actually became world famous in 2003. When we launched an equation if you Google my name Pete Cohen happiness, you'll see that we came up with this equation and it got broadcast in 27 countries around the world. We definitely were not expecting that to happen because it was a publicity stunt for a holiday company here in the UK Thomson holidays. But it was really interesting because we had people from Korea coming over to meet us because they actually thought we'd found the answer to happiness, or happiness is relative, right? You know what makes one person happy might make someone else. It's different. Everyone is different. However, there definitely seems to be some common ground around happiness. It seems to be people are happy when they're contributing, real happiness, a deep sense of happiness. What's what is absolutely essential, I believe around all of this is this motivation equation? So the Happiness Equation is we actually really looked at it and we came up with something which is great. You can Google it, you can see for yourself, but I want to talk about the motivation equation that was designed by a guy called piers steel, and he won the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in psychology, right? So this is the real deal. Motivation. I'm not a big fan of motivation anyway, motive means movement. What's moving you what's moving most people is pain. You know, I was in a room and clubhouse. And there are people on there talking about their health issues. And literally, they are being told all these different things. They can do all these different blood tests, all these different foods they can eliminate. And I'd be thinking if that was me, oh my god, there's just too much to do. I'm not inspired about doing any of this, but I'm living in fear. And that's what motivates most people is a discomfort from where they are, what is what the difference for me is about being inspired. Now, I wrote a book on this called inspirated. And that's about breathing life into the future, breathing life into who you're becoming but you know, 90% of people who read that book will only read the first chapter because that's what most people do, because they're not inspired. Isn't that your greatest weapon as a human being what you can do with what you have to breathe life that's what to inspire means. You know, to breathe life into the possibilities that exist for you, you know?
Pete Cohen 22:43
Because the only thing you know, is for me is the future right? That's the only thing but where is the future? It's here right now. Come on, everyone. Let's go
Pete Cohen 23:03
the motivation equation. It might make you happy. Happiness if you feel like you know, I What I've learned to do is to become happy by the things that I do that show me that I'm moving forward in the direction I want to go. You know, happiness is being in the moment and knowing that I'm just getting better. That's what it is to me. What about you? So the motivation equation is, is m equals E. So M is motivation, E is expectation expectation times value. So what is expectation? It is to expect that if you do what you say you're going to do, it's to expect that for example, like I got my exercise bike this morning, exercise to expect that if I do that, it's going to move me forwards that I will be more motivated. And the V is the value is to see the value in doing it is to expect that if I eat well, or or I do whatever I need to do is to expect the result and to value the result. And that's what we have to drive up. So think about this as m equals e times V with a line over the top of those letters and underneath is e times d. So we need to drive up the expectation. Drive up the value. If you don't value it, you will not do it. You'll have the honeymoon period of starting your journal. But then after a week or two the honeymoon period wears off. And then it's time to fight. You know, it's time to fight through. You know, does this make sense? The fight through and that's where a lot of people just don't do it. It just gets tough. I don't feel like it. And it's time you know ritually for us to
Pete Cohen 25:07
come on everyone. But tonight, don't call it a comeback. Making the front of fight. Fight through. What are you fighting through? I tell you the fact that you don't feel like doing what you need to do. Because when we procrastinate, we we know there's an intention. We delay the intention why
Pete Cohen 25:48
I'm gonna knock out the feeling of I don't feel like it. I don't care how I feel most of the time. Because I want something enough how I feel about it is not important. You gotta knock it out. You know, I believe again, I might be wrong here but life is a competitive event. I think it's competitive. And I don't mean competing against other people. That what a lot of people do, I'm competing against my former self. I'm competing with who I'm becoming. And to see the AI and the D is is so important to know what this is the AI is the impulsivity. impulsivity. You got a knock that out. You've got to knock it out. You have to be focused. You have to be all in and the other is delayed impulsivity times delay.
Pete Cohen 26:46
You got to drive that down. And that's the big challenge because we live in a world now where we all have infinite possibilities, more possibilities than we've ever had in our entire life, to do things to create things to make things happen. To connect with people, we have that choice, right? We have that choice. There's never been a better time than now. That's how I look at it. But there's never been more opportunities to let our impulses get the better of us. Right. There's never been more delays. You know, I don't mean to do that. I don't feel like doing it. How do you conquer procrastination? You have to make it I don't say you have to. I made the decision of who I was going to be. And I made that my number one priority. I know who I need to be with my health and my energy. It's always work in progress. I know who I need to be with my relationships. That is always work in progress. I know who I need to be with my work and my service. That is work in progress. And you know what? I don't work. I don't work. Alone. You know, I don't work alone. Thankfully I work with some amazing people but I am a superhero. You know who I am
Pete Cohen 28:09
when I was a kid I remember what I just wanted to be back. But of course I worked with Robin and I worked with Alfred John Santos that's why we started a branding agency. You're it's not up to the creative scoop.
Pete Cohen 28:40
So what's been your biggest takeaway? We've been talking about how to beat procrastination. Well, the first step is definitely to have a different have an awareness of what it is first off, that was the key point really of today. Procrastination, three elements. It is having the intention intact. This isn't my intention. I want to do that. Right and then delaying it. Just delaying it. Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, no prep. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'll do that later. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Don't worry about that. Yeah, I'll lose weight tomorrow. I'll get healthier tomorrow. I'll do that. I'll put I'll pay that tomorrow. Put it off, put it off, put it off, put it off. And then the third element is you just know you know, deep down that doing something that would benefit you. And ultimately, if that's the only thing you took away from this podcast, and you might want to, you might think about changing this. The second thing we're kind of talking about here is nothing the dysfunction of the brain, that the MIA what they call in Hinduism and Duker in Buddhism, you know, just look around the world and see how many people are struggling mainly because they're frightened. They're giving into temptation, they're not aiming for something that is bigger than what they are. They don't know who they need to be. And this doesn't apply to everyone. It's time for us to be a hero. You know, a hero, basically is someone who wants to protect and serve but knows they have to work on themselves and know they need to have other people around them. Procrastination is always a choice. It is all I would say it's always a choice. You're putting something off that you know that you could do something about. I'd love to help and serve you the best way I can do that. Well, there's a few things. One is you can take my 30 day challenge, you know, it's not the answer. You are definitely the answer. And the other thing is and I'm going to be we're going to be talking about this more and more. We'd love to hear from you. And it's this. Think about what you want, right? Honestly just think whatever it is, it's probably going to revolve around three areas right. Your health, your energy your relationships, there's something that you invariably want. The next thing to think about is that okay, what is that it will probably if you told me it might be quite nonspecific. It might be like, I just love to be healthier, adopt my business to grow. Okay, that's a good start, but you could be more specific about it like I want to be this amount of weight, or I want to have X amount more clients or X amount of turnover, whatever it is, I want to be on holiday with my wife, whatever that is. So the next thing I'd love you to take a moment to think about is Okay, pick one of them and then answer this question. Two questions. If you wanted that. What would you have to start doing every day? What would you have to start doing every single day? And what would you have? To stop doing every single day? And if you want to let us know, in fact, next week, because we're setting our intentions for what we do as a business in 2022, right. That's what we're doing. And we know that once you can help people identify might sound very obvious to you. But how do you get people in to move beyond the honeymoon period of starting something? I'm in control, I'm exercising everyday. How do you help people go beyond that? That's what we're doing. And if you want to be a part of that, just kind of let us know. But the first thing I encourage you to think about what do you want? What do you want? You could think about why and you could think about who you would be if you had that if you were doing that? And then okay, brilliant. What would you have to start doing on a day to day basis and what would you have to stop doing? You know, it's all about the game. You know for me.
Unknown Speaker 32:51
All y'all asked us for Mad years, one love 99 years if man is the Father the Sun is the center in the middle of the universe. And why is this first come in six times, rehearse. Don't freestyle much when I write them like
Pete Cohen 33:10
one of my favorite choruses in any song ever. You want to hear it? It's coming in a second right? This is public enemy means you're ready
Unknown Speaker 33:25
to trip but damn the game if it don't mean nothing. What is the game behind the game behind the game? I got games. She's got games. We got game games. He got game in the game.
Pete Cohen 33:47
So it's all a game, right? That's how we're looking at life's a game and maybe now it's time to play the game in a different way. So just check this out. This is such a beautiful part of how they mix this in. You're ready to everybody
Pete Cohen 34:14
want to hear a bit of brilliant rap? Flavor flavor. Check this out. You're ready. Get ready guys. Listen up listen. Let's do this
Pete Cohen 34:42
question is are you ready for the real revolution? Evolution looking at the elevation find the words of wisdom on
Unknown Speaker 35:01
the bus we will support wake up spirits trying to steal your belief you take me got me.
Pete Cohen 35:28
Wow, I absolutely love that you might not but I do and it's time for us to wake up to the reality of who we are who we can become and stop putting it off. Right? You're amazing and I really appreciate every single one of you that listens to our podcast, with nearly coming up six years in the business every single week, sometimes twice a week putting out these podcasts. Thank you so much. If you're up for the challenge, take my 30 day challenge, I think close to 7000 people gone signed up to it about a 3.4% of completion. Let's stop being heroes in the beginning. Let's be the heroes that we were put on this earth to be.