Procrastination is not for everyone!
"Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today." (My Mother - ever since I can remember). Procrastination is like a virus. It creeps up on you slowly, drains you of energy, and is difficult to get rid of if your resistance is low. Procrastination is a close relative of incompetence and a first cousin to inefficiency, which is why their marriage is taboo. These suggestions will help you conquer the virus:
1. Give yourself deadlines. In moderation, pressure motivates. Extreme pressure debilitates. Set appointments, make commitments, write out your goals, and otherwise develop the determination to succeed.
2. Don't duck the difficult problems. Every day we are faced with both difficult and easy tasks. Tackle the difficult ones first so that you can look forward to the easy ones. If you work on the easy ones first, you might expand the time that they take in order to avoid the difficult ones waiting for you.
Many people put off difficult or large tasks because they appear too huge to tackle in a reasonable time frame. They feel that if they start and complete the "large" task at one sitting, it will prevent them from accomplishing any of the other tasks they have to do on that day. The answer to this problem is to break all large or difficult tasks into their smaller subparts. Then, you can do each of the subparts of the larger project over a series of days, if appropriate.
3. Don't let perfectionism paralyze you. This is a problem that many writers have when writing articles or books. They sit with pad and pen in hand waiting for the "right" words to come out. What they are doing is avoiding the process of writing. Be prolific in your activities. You can always go back later and polish those things you're unhappy with. Better yet, you can delegate the polishing to someone else.
Because humans are so susceptible to procrastination, you must work at building up your immunity to it. Effective action is the best medicine.
What tips and tricks have you used to stop procrastinating?
Dr. Tony Alessandra is a behavioral and communication expert, and author of 17 books including The Platinum Rule, Collaborative Selling and The Art of Managing People. Today he is a leading business motivational speaker on communication, customer loyalty, and sales.
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