Of all the little things that get in our way and turn into big stumbling blocks, prorastination seems to be the most limiting and destructive.
While the admonition “Don't put until tomorrow what you can do today is well-intended, most of us seem to live by the opposite: “I don't have time to do today what I can put off until tomorrow. "
Most of us have struggled with this at some point.
The pay off for procrastination
Procrastination turns into a habit because putting things off often feels good. There is a huge payoff for procrastinating.
The trap is that most things do not simply go away. In fact, many things that we put off come back to bite us.
So how do you stop procrastinating and start taking action?
Here are some simple techniques.
Think for a moment, if you will, about how you “do" procrastination. How do you persuade yourself to put something off? If you were to teach someone else how to procrastinate as you do, what would be the formula you would teach?
What are the specific steps you take to put things off? What's the very first thing you do?
If you think about this, you can begin to be aware of what's become an unconscious habit. To make a significant change, however, we usually need more than awareness.
We need to take specific steps
Because we have associated putting things off more with pleasure than with pain, we have to reverse the process. We have to link more pain with putting things off and more pleasure to getting things done.
This is done by asking a few key questions, such as, “What is the pain I will experience by putting this task off?" and “What is the pleasure I will experience by doing this now?"
What you may quickly experience thanks to this process is a reduction in the stress associated with procrastinating, as well as pleasure in having the task out of the way. Another nice little side benefit is that doing something usually takes less actual time than procrastinating.
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