Freedom doesn’t come as a business owner, entrepreneur, or just in everyday life by never putting together a schedule. In fact, as counter-intuitive as it seems, having a schedule and learning to beat procrastination is critical to having both success and freedom.

Everyone wants to be successful. No one gives an honest answer of, “Well I’d like less money, no control over my life, I’d just like to be a failure if I can,” when asked what their hopes and dreams are.

What separates those very few individuals who actually achieve success from those who don’t? Is it natural talent? The right connections? Just plain luck? While there’s no denying all three of those things can help to an extent, they’re also straw men.

Who has natural talent? People who work tirelessly to develop their skills.

Who has the right connections? People who socialize, network, volunteer, and really hustle to get their name out there.

Who is lucky? Amazingly enough, it seems to always be the hardest workers who “just happen” to be working when that opportunity presents itself.

There’s one common thing that the successful and unsuccessful alike have: time. There are 24 hours in every single day whether rich or poor, single or married, successful or failure. That’s also the key to understanding the difference between being in the majority of people who simply want to be their version of successful and those who actually set goals, make them, and accomplish their dreams.

You’re Not Relaxing – You’re Procrastinating

Procrastination is the number one enemy of anyone who wants to achieve anything in their life. Whether it’s getting on that diet to lose weight, working out to gain muscle, or getting clients for a freelancing business, whatever the goals are the biggest enemy is putting things off.

Everyone has had that experience of putting something off. It’s Wednesday already, so you’ll start the diet Monday – but then on Monday putting it off one day won’t hurt, so the cycle goes and the diet never gets started.

Why buy a gym membership if you wouldn’t have time to use it until next week? Next week comes and you wonder if that’s the best use of money today, so you wait until tomorrow, except inevitably tomorrow never comes.

The same happens in business all the time. A person gets fired up and ready to go, then they put off making that hard phone call, spending money on online advertising, or making any effort. So they “research” to be ready for when they finally pull the trigger – but then they never get their heads out of the books and blogs to build that business.

Don’t fool yourself by saying you’re relaxing after a rough day. Everyone has a rough day. In fact, every day is rough when you’re not accomplishing your goals and chasing a dream or passion.

Chances are you’re not relaxing – you’re procrastinating, and that needs to stop if you want to reach your goals!

You Can’t Beat Someone Who Outworks You

This is one of the most important points anyone can take to heart, no matter what the goal is.

Procrastination is that constantly unfulfilled promise of “feeling like it tomorrow” when in fact that is likely to never happen. Focus is essential not only because it helps you get real work done, but putting off things is a habit – and one that gets harder to break the more you do it.

Talent will only take a person so far. Every field has that story of a person who isn’t that naturally gifted, but he or she just won’t stop working until the job is done. They wake up earlier than everyone else, they go to sleep later, and that’s how they get the most out of every 24 hour day.

No matter how talented a person is, this comes down to simple math. An incredibly talented person who works 1 hour can’t compete with a moderately talented or even average person who will work 3, 5, 8, or more hours until they get what they want.

The single biggest step you can take towards achieving your goals, no matter what those goals are, is to get up earlier and go to bed later. If you are willing to put in more hours, you will make more progress and you will do it faster.

 What Is The Common Theme of Success?

The common theme always comes back to work. In any industry where you talk to successful people, you are going to hear about hard work.

Just a small sample of famed individuals who preach about hard work, or preached about it while alive, include:

– Jim Rohn

 – Eric Thomas

 – Will Smith

 – Arnold Schwarzenegger

 – Steve Jobs

Hard work means focusing in on what actually needs to be done, what will help you, and doing it even when you don’t feel like it. Even the most successful people rarely “feel like” doing hard work, but their passion for a goal or dream is stronger than their feelings and that’s why they focus in and succeed.

Keep in mind that some of the greatest minds in history, such as Leonardo da Vinci, was so obsessed with finding more time to work that he even created the “Uber-man” sleep schedule to sleep as little as possible and still function at a high level day to day.

Yes, there are times you will be tired, but you’ll be closer to your dreams, as well.

 Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are many tools that can help you focus and get more work done. There are a variety of website blockers like the aptly named StayFocused that limit your time on time-wasting websites each day. Pomodoro timers allow you to create an efficient work-rest balance. Take a look at what’s out there and use whatever tools you need to go from wishing for success to actually achieving it.


Image Credit: Unsplash