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How To Overcome Procrastination Today

Aug 17, 2007
"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."
-- George Carlin

Billions of dollars are lost each year by people who choose to put off things that should be done immediately. When taxes get filed late, fines and penalties accrue. Pay a bill late and your interest goes up. Wait too long to make airline reservations and your fare increases.

But procrastination isn't just about money. Depending upon what it is you're working so hard to avoid doing, you could be impacting the lives of people who are depending on you to come through for them.

Whether it's lost money, loss of respect, or lost opportunity - procrastination is for losers and you certainly don't need any part of it. If you find yourself missing deadlines and stressing out over things you should have crossed off your to-do list already, pay attention:

You CAN overcome procrastination, and you CAN do it today. Just follow these steps (and don't put it off):

1. Create a daily "to do" list and set firm deadlines for everything on it. That way you know how much time you have available to read your e-mail, return phone calls, pay your bills, or handle anything else that's on your list.

2. Break large tasks into smaller steps. Create a schedule of deliverables for each task and focus on getting each small step done on time.

3. Set deadlines. Instead of using phrases like "I need to get my taxes filed soon", replace it with "I will file my taxes today by 5:00 PM." There is no way to determine when soon will occur, but there's no doubt about when today at 5:00 PM is scheduled to arrive.

4. Think positively. "I can" and "I will" are strong statements that can push you forward. "I should" and "I might" are anchors that only weigh you down.

5. Do your hardest task, or the one you hate doing the most, first thing in the morning. That will get the "biggie" out of the way and the rest of the day will seem easier in comparison.

6. Clutter kills productivity. Don't let paper pile up in your life. Make a rule that every piece of paper you touch must be either filed, thrown away, or the action that the paper requires you to take (like paying a bill) must be taken.

7. Take a few minutes each day to review your progress and pat yourself on the back for getting things done. Seeing things crossed off on your to-do list is a highly motivating sight.

8. Don't let unexpected events throw you off. If you get hit with something that must be done at once, do it and then reschedule your to-do list so nothing falls through the cracks.

9. Don't let it get you down if you find it hard to break the procrastination habit in one day. It took you more than one day to develop the habit. Treat failure as an opportunity to do better tomorrow.

10. Stop thinking "Hmm, maybe I'll do what this article suggests" and just do it!
About the Author
Terence Young - For more personal growth articles visit: http://www.personalgrowthunlimited.com
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