Alexander Graham Bell said, “The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.” And Napoleon Hill said, “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
There will never be a perfect time to do anything because the best time is always now. Stop waiting for the stars to align before you take that first step in your life’s journey, and don’t procrastinate because it can hold you back from achieving your goals.
My guest today is a good friend of mine, Rory Vaden. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of Brand Builders Group, which is a leading personal brand strategy firm that focuses on helping people become the type of person that everyone wants to do business with.
In this episode, we discussed the mindset shifts and practices you can implement to stop procrastinating, how to rewire your brain to become an ultra-performer in your life, what happens when your focus is spread thin, and so much more. This is the third part of our series together, and I’m excited to share it with you.
Let’s jump in.
Rory Vaden is a bestselling author and a co-founder of Brand Builder’s Group, one of the leading personal brand strategy firms, whose mission is to help every person tell their story, identify their voice, and share their unique message. Rory has worked with such famous personalities as Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank.
I’ve worked with Rory for many years, and we thought it would be valuable to bring together a series on building a reputation and your personal brand to help you take your life to the next level. We’ve already done the first and second installments of the series, and this is the third part, which I’m excited to share with you.
Rory Vaden is also a writer and a New York Times bestselling author of the book, Take the Stairs, which became a #1 bestseller on Amazon, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. It was also a number two bestseller in the New York Times. The book was translated into 11 languages and continues to impact more and more people.
Rory is also an influential and talented speaker who has participated in the World Championship of Public Speaking competition not once, but twice. At one point, he even became the World Champion First Runner-Up.
Rory has earned the highest ranking designation from the National Speakers Association as a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), and his TEDx talk on “How to Multiply Time” has been viewed over four million times. Rory is truly inspirational and his fresh and sometimes humorous insights continue to amaze different audiences across the globe.
No matter how much we tell ourselves not to procrastinate, it seems the longer and more complicated our tasks become, the more tempting it is to put them off. Why do we procrastinate? Some of the most common reasons for procrastinating are lack of motivation, fear of failure, fear of success, and stress. It’s important to figure out which reason you’re struggling so you can take the necessary steps to overcome it.
“There’s a number of reasons why we procrastinate. The number one reason, according to psychologists, why we procrastinate is because of self-criticism.” – Rory Vaden
Do you ever feel like you’re your own worst enemy? We all have those moments when we feel like we are not good enough and the world is passing us by. But what if you found out that your self-criticism was stopping you from reaching your goals?
“[Procrastination is] thinking that, ‘I won’t be good enough,’ that, ‘I’m not smart enough,’ that, ‘I’m not capable, so why should I even bother if this isn’t going to work out for me?’ And there’s a lot of extraordinary pressure with that.” – Rory Vaden
Procrastination can be hard to deal with, but instead of letting the fear and anxiety take over, why not face the problem and get things done?
It’s amazing how many people procrastinate even when they know it will affect them negatively. But in reality, there are three types of procrastination: classic procrastination, creative avoidance, and priority dilution. It can be difficult to pinpoint what type you’re experiencing because sometimes the different types of procrastination are mixed together. However, the key is to identify which types you’re struggling with, and then find a solution that works for you!
We’ve been there. We’ve all had times when we procrastinated on some tasks, delaying them when we should have done them earlier. As a result, we’ve ended up doing more tasks due to the backlog and the consequences of the delay.
“There’s three types of procrastination. … [The] classic procrastination is consciously delaying what we know we should be doing. So, if I have some bills on the counter, I know that I should pay them, but I’m tired and I’m exhausted. So, rather than paying the bills, I’m gonna watch Netflix and chill [out] …” – Rory Vaden
Does this sound like you — Delaying paying a bill when you have the money and doing something else, instead? That’s a good example of classic procrastination.
When you become more creative at blocking your own progress by finding every possible way to keep yourself from taking action, that’s creative avoidance.
“Creative avoidance is different, and this is something that people do as an art form. Creative avoidance is subconsciously creating things for yourself to do so that you can do those things as a means of feeling productive, but really it’s a giant scheme for avoiding doing the things you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing it.” – Rory Vaden
So, instead of doing what you should do to make progress, you keep yourself busy doing other tasks that don’t serve the purpose. You may have a feeling of accomplishing a lot of tasks, but in the end, you have accomplished nothing on the things that matter most. This is what separates great achievers from mediocre performers.
“Success and greatness is not related to the volume of tasks that you complete, but simply the significance of them. And ultra performers are able to get themselves to do the things they know they should be doing, even when they don’t feel [like it].” – Rory Vaden
Imagine you were supposed to have a dental visit to fix a tooth problem today, but instead, you stayed home to clean the house. You may feel accomplished at the end of the day because your house is finally clean and tidy, but your tooth problem remains.
The third type is quite different from the classic procrastination and creative avoidance because it is not about being lazy or making up other tasks when you should be doing what matters most.
“The third type of procrastination is called priority dilution, and this is fascinating, … [because] priority dilution is the chronic overachiever’s form of procrastination. What’s different about it is, unlike the first two, … priority dilution is not about being lazy or disengaged or distracted, but it is the same net result of the first two, which is … you leave the office or you end your day with your most significant priorities incomplete, not because you’re lazy, but because you allowed your attention to shift to less significant but perhaps more urgent tasks.” – Rory Vaden
You might think you’re being productive, but just because you are busy doesn’t mean that’s the case. In actuality, your procrastination is much more subtle. In priority dilution, it looks like you have a lot of things to do and plenty of time for them all until suddenly they pile up and overwhelm you with their importance. What was “miscellaneous” becomes urgent.
So how do we resolve procrastination? Rory has a piece of advice on the solution to this problem:
“Procrastination is a problem. What’s the solution? … I really believe that the solution can be boiled down to one word, and it’s a word that nobody likes — discipline. … Discipline is doing the things you should be doing, even when you don’t feel like doing them. If you can develop the ability to do that, then you literally have unlocked the ability to do anything in life, which unlocks the ability to achieve virtually anything.” – Rory Vaden
Discipline is doing something even when it seems too hard or tedious for you at the time and without getting distracted by all sorts of other things such as social media, TV shows, and more. If you have developed your ability to discipline yourself, then nothing can stop you from achieving absolutely anything.
Guys, this is such a powerful interview with Rory Vaden, and it’s jam-packed with so many words of wisdom from my wonderful friend. This is the third in our series geared toward helping you build powerful personal brands. We highly recommend listening to the full episode to get more insights from Rory, and don’t forget to share it with your friends!
You can also check out our previous conversations. The first of the series is Episode 1119: How to build a million-dollar personal brand, where Rory talked about how to multiply your time and income. In the second part, Episode 1149: How to Multiply Your Time and Income,
Rory delved into the strategies that will help you multiply your time and income, how to overcome the common struggles with time management, the unforeseen consequences of not prioritizing your life, how to develop a growth mindset, and more. Check them out!
Follow Rory Vaden on social media for more valuable insights from him. He’s on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel for access to inspiring videos. Check out his website as well, and sign up for his Influential Leader Video Course for free to receive his blog updates via email.
I want to leave you all with this quote from Karen Lamb, who said, “A year from now, you may wish you had started today.”
Think about the things you could do right now on a daily basis that your future self will thank you for. What is that thing you’ve got to do consistently that will take time to get results, but in six months or a year or two, you’ll be thanking yourself for constantly showing up for your future? Think about that for yourself, and start implementing your ideas on a daily basis. Your future self will constantly be thanking you for showing up for yourself today.
If you enjoyed this conversation, please make sure to spread the message of greatness and make an impact on someone’s life today. It would be great if you could also tag Rory, @roryvaden, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways from it.
I want to remind you all — if no one has told you lately, you are loved, you are worthy, and you matter! I’m so grateful for you, and do you know what time it is? It’s time to go out there and do something great.