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How To Stop Procrastinating

Mar 21, 2008
Everyone, including you, has a tendency to procrastinate. So what exactly is procrastination? Simply put, it is when you put off something that can be done now because of laziness or carelessness. Procrastination is putting off things for another day, when it is just as easy to do them today. Many people have a tendency to put off things and then end up doing them at the very last minute or not doing them at all.

Procrastination is extremely common in students who need to complete a research project, complete a term paper or even study for an upcoming test. This is generally when the term "cram" comes into play. In order to get a good grade on the test, the student must "cram" for the exam in a short period of time, versus studying and planning for the test all along.

So why Procrastinate?

Almost everyone, at one time or another in their life, deals with procrastination. For some people, they make it a way of life or a bad habit. For others, they may only allow procrastination to affect certain areas of their life, but not their daily events. For whatever reason, people often put off things they don't want to deal with at the time.

Some reasons you procrastinate are:

One of the most common reasons people procrastinate is because they are afraid. Although no one likes to admit they are afraid of something, fear often hinders people from attempting to do things, therefore, they put them off. Whether you are afraid of succeeding or afraid of failing, it is all fear.

Another reason for procrastination is because you may not feel like it is important enough. If your task is not given a high enough priority in the beginning, then you will have a tendency to put it off. You may very well know that the task needs completed, but you simply put it off because you find other things that are more important.

You don't have the means to complete the task. In some instances, you may not have everything on hand to complete the task; therefore, you put it off. This may be the result of your inability to do all of the research and collect the needed data or you just don't feel like putting the time needed to finish the task.

Some other reasons people procrastinate are: you have not completely committed yourself to the project, you are extremely busy, you are lazy or you simply don't want to do it.

How to change the behavior:

Now that you have a better understanding of why you tend to procrastinate or did you procrastinate and decide to read that section later? You cannot expect that you will quit procrastinating if you do not have an understanding why you do it in the first place. Therefore, it is important to take a good look at why you put things off. This is the first step in learning how you can change this behavior.

Below are a few strategies that can help you to stop procrastinating. Not everyone will benefit from every tip. Therefore, be sure to try a variety of different steps until you find one that works well for you.

Create a list. If you create a list of all the reason you procrastinate and how you procrastinate, then you will be able to see that you are definitely putting things off. By creating a list of clues, you can then pinpoint your behavior and get a better grip on it.

Eliminate procrastination myths. "I work well under pressure." Once you begin to believe that you work best under pressure, then you are simply giving yourself permission to indeed procrastinate. "I cannot do this unless it is perfect." Keep in mind that achieving perfection is nearly impossible.

Break down the job. If you have a large job to do, you may believe you will never get it accomplished. Therefore, why even begin on the project? In order to overcome this mindset, you must break the jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can accomplish.

Change your attitude. If you have a negative attitude, you are more likely to tell yourself that a task is disgusting, extremely difficult or you simply will not like doing it. It is simple mind over matter. If you believe that you can do something, then you truly can.

Ask for help. Many people believe that asking for help is a true sign of weakness. In reality, asking for help is a sign of strength. Knowing that you need help and obtaining the correct help, with make getting the job done a lot easier.

Some other tips include: Keep things that need to be done or accomplished in your line of vision. Keep to a strict schedule. Eliminate any distractions.

It is human nature to procrastinate. We all want to avoid things that are unpleasant, while seeking out things that leave us feeling good. Making a conscious effort to determine why you procrastinate will help you to change the behavior. Don't expect miracles though. Change will take time. Begin by taking baby steps and eventually, you will see dramatic results.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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