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Procrastination 101

Updated on September 11, 2008

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried."

Procrastination Explained

::sigh:: I need to get my stuff done......

 
 

A day in the life of a procrastinator starts out with confidence, hope and optimism of a new day. What soon follows......... is a ticking clock, urgent tasks waiting to be conquered and nothing accomplished.

What makes taking the bull by the horns, sort to speak, seem excruciatingly impossible? The more you delve into the psyche of a procrastinator, the more it is obvious that it's so much more then just a lack of time management skills. In fact, much deeper than that.

The bottom line is that fear is the basis from where procrastinators are born and eventually get stuck. Sometimes for a whole lifetime. In their mind, there seems to be some crazy underlying notion that the task at hand will be much more difficult than initially anticipated, and as time ticks on, irrational fear grows.

Maybe the procrastinator's belief is that they won't be able to complete said task perfectly, maybe the overwhelming mess that sits in front of them takes on a life of it's own, and becomes an invisible monster lurking. Or, maybe the teenager from within simply feels like rebelling, taunting, or daring them to defy. Whatever the case may be, the reality of a procrastinator's life is agonizing. Panic sets in. Insignificant chores become urgent, computer games, frivolous phone calls, or even that infomercial seem to take top priority.

To figure out the makeup of a typical procrastinator, it helps to understand their superior ability to manipulate. They become a master of sorts, even convincing themselves of all the reasons their tasks can wait. They can talk themselves into ridiculous notions that they work best under pressure, so leaving until the last moment makes perfect sense to them. Some people even get addicted to this type of behavior, making the whole cycle repetitive and never ending. What's left is the constant stress-induced state that begins to feel like the norm. Living day to day frazzled and insecure inevitably creates a heavy burden.

The reality check needed here becomes clear, PROCRASTINATION has become the real obstacle to your success. And, if not conquered soon, it will grow by leaps and bounds. Like an insidious disease that uncontrollably spreads. The situation will quickly lose control.

Now imagine if you were finally able to overcome the procrastinator in you? What would happen? How would it feel? Liberating? An inner-peace realization? Would that habitual calmness become your new way of life?

 

Pay attention to your thoughts.....

Time is Ticking...

Time to Play!!

Simplify with 5 main tips

1. Say What? ~ Begin by seriously paying attention to the negative self-talk. It's exhausting. It's senseless. It's insane. Reprogramming your thoughts is ultimately the single most powerful and life-changing thing you can do. It can change every childhood concept you've ever believed into constructive positive reflection. Where you want to go and how you eventually will get there will fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Instead of thinking "I always wait until the last minute" or "I feel incompetent", begin to transform those thoughts into "I am incredibly talented" and "I take control of every situation easily and efficiently". Repeating such positive reinforcements will divert your game plan and allow you the awareness needed to make lasting changes.

2. A Mountain out of a mole hill ~ The one -step-at-a -time approach. If you begin each day with a prioritized list, separating tasks into smaller jobs, and consistently listing the more difficult tasks first, you will be able to take them on with more confidence and energy. Ultimately, this plan of action will help allow the rest of your day to also run smoother and with less stress. Respect the present moment. Know that all that matters is right now.... don't get ahead of yourself, and you will be less likely to feel overwhelmed.

3. Time Commitment ~ Set aside specific allotted times to complete each task. Preferably without interruptions and with a "divide and conquer" new mentality. Take this set time seriously, even encouraging yourself that it's o.k. to be selfish. Concentrate on what's best for you, don't worry about pleasing anyone else, when you have tasks piling up and waiting to be tackled, nothing else should matter. A true friend will understand, and this might actually be a quick and effective way to weed out and separate the toxic from the worthwhile and truly caring.

4. Break-time ~ The importance of break-time. Dividing your day with designated intervals to clear your mind and shake off the addictive need to procrastinate will help keep the vision of your goals clear. Have an energizing snack, take a walk or a quick nap. All you need is a 15-20 minute guilt-free gap to recharge, regroup and refresh. It's amazing the new perspective you will realize after stepping away and returning with fresh well-rested eyes.

5. Reward ~ Rewards have been proven to be highly effective in ridding yourself of the challenges of chronic procrastination. If you can envision how great it will finally feel to be finished with all daily looming tasks, it'll make it that much easier to stay focused, and keep your eye on the prize. People who finally get a handle on their weight loss plan report knowing that a shopping spree or exotic vacation promised ahead after completion can work miracles. Pumping up motivation to a new high.

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    • summer10 profile image
      Author

      summer10 9 years ago from my happy place :)

      thank u Chris and Jewels for commenting.. I'm so glad I've helped.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 9 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this hub Summer. My procrastination woes began because I took on too much at one stage and the intensity was too great. Fear is it, have no doubts about that. Your tips are great. I'm going to print this one out to keep me on track - hopefully!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 9 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi Summer. Thanks for the hub. I am sometimes a procratinator and often, with me at least, its a matter of priortization that is really askewed. I never don't do something constructive and valuable, but as you point out, if there are two things that must be done, people will sometimes choose the one that is the most enjoyable, even though the other is getting more and more urgent and should have priority. Thanks for the tips!

    • summer10 profile image
      Author

      summer10 9 years ago from my happy place :)

      Thank you so much dafla for commenting. With so much going on, it's no wonder you "mildly" procrastinate now and then. I love your writing style and look forward to reading more of your hubs!

    • profile image

      dafla 9 years ago

      Great hub! I'm such a procratinator, and this has really helped me see how to improve, which is something I need desperately to do. I started out, as you said, motivated and enthusiastic about working from home, doing my blogs and freelance writing. Now it seems I work more at reading other people's work than I do at getting my own done. I have a million plans, and no concrete results. Thanks for the inspiration!

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