I procrastinate. Do you?
Let’s stop.Dreading something often takes more energy than doing it. There is a basic reason why most people don’t accomplish what they could: They just can’t get started. Why?
1. The task is difficult and/or overwhelming.
2. It is time-consuming.
3. We may lack knowledge or skills.
What will you do to eliminate procrastination?
- Focus on getting started and developing momentum, not on finishing everything (perfectly).
- If the problem is lack of knowledge or skill, make a plan for getting more.
- Make a list of the benefits of not procrastinating.
- Identify your own goals, strengths, values, and priorities, and work within those.
- Compare your actions with the values you feel you have. Are your values consistent with your actions?
- Discipline yourself to use time wisely: Set priorities. (Remember, it’s not procrastination if it wasn’t worth doing in the first place.)
- Use the “inchworm technique.” Look at a project and break it into small chunks and work on the little pieces. Reward yourself after you complete a task, however small.
- Motivate yourself: Dwell on success, not on failure. Tell yourself: “This isn’t so hard, it won’t take long, or I can easily do some part of it, or I’ll learn while doing.”
- Picture in your mind what you would like to achieve. When you have that clearly in mind, then begin somewhere—anywhere—trying to achieve some of your vision.
Overcoming procrastination produces peace of mind, a feeling of being in charge of your life. You will experience increased personal freedom, so start working on procrastination today.
Make a list of five top procrastinations. Work on one each week. Pick a new one when you have that one done.
Burka, Jane B, and Yuen, Lenora M. Procrastination. Reading, PA: Addison-Wesley, 1983.
Ellis, Albert, and Knaus, William J. Overcoming Procrastination. New York: Signet Books, 1977.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
And if not now, when?
About the Author
Sharon Pahlka has lived with kidney disease for over 30 years, 19 years on dialysis and the last 11 with a transplant from her brother. She is a Life Coach and speaker, specializing in coaching people with chronic health challenges.
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