Procrastination and Self-discipline

This weeks inspirations come from


At 99 degrees, water is hot.

At 100 degrees, it boils.

And with boiling water, comes steam.

And steam can power a locomotive.

One extra degree makes all the difference

And, that one extra degree of effort, whether in business or in life

separates the good from the great.

Kop Kopmeyer authored many books on success and is often asked “Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?”

He replied without hesitating, “The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.‘”
He went on to say, “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work.”

Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.

The above two articles got me thinking and so……


So how can we develop or improve our self-discipline? One way is to prevent regular detrimental procrastination (acknowledging that sometimes procrastination is needed and useful!).  How often do we put off unpleasant tasks even if they are more important than other simpler more enjoyable tasks. I know I do all the time! So here is the challenge – out of all the tasks you set yourself, choose the ‘worst’ one and do it first. You know which one. It’s the one that will take the longest or is the most complicated, or most unpleasant. But doing it first will often remove a burden from your shoulders and give you the impetus to then tackle all the remaining (easier) tasks. I’ve tried this myself and it works a treat. Just have to do it enough enough so it becomes a habit!


  1. So I was doing a bit of procrastination and decided to read your blog. Bitch slap! Nevertheless, highly relevant for me at the moment. Thanks.

    The thing I’m working on at the moment is the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’. It’s easy to do the urgent tasks – a deadline is as much inspiration as I need (given my ‘P’ characteristics…MBTI). The hard stuff is the ‘important’ stuff – actually accepting that a certain task is important and then doing it, even if there is no urgency. Before there is any urgency.

    I can see that, if I did this, life would be better. It’s just so hard to actually do it!!

  2. Well firstly, congratulations. Seems to me that reading my blog was an important choice not an urgent one! He he he.

    But seriously, to go into male (and Sifu) mode) – What if you made yourself accountable for important tasks? ie. Tell someone (your partner, your housemate, your boss, me) that you’re going to do a certain ‘important’ task by a certain date. A deadline will then (perhaps) mean something if you’ve involved somebody else in the task.

    Something I often do, is determine who else benefits from me doing a task (directly or indirectly). That way I’m more likely to confront the duty than if it’s just for me. Of course that suits my Mr Nice Guy/ put everybody else first personality which isn’t going to fit everyone.

    Lastly, look not at the task, but at the results of its completion. Why is it important? That answer, rather than the task itself, is far more encouraging and rewarding to you.

    Just some thoughts.

  3. This is exactly what I have done – at least, made myself accountable to someone. And not someone I am particularly comfortable with. The first step is admitting the problem and asking for help…(do I sound like an alcoholic??)…and this person is actually helping me set goals.

    Yet I am still procrastinating on your blog…

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