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Making Procrastination an Art Form

Apr 22, 2008
"We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going... Concentrate on something useful." --Arnold Bennett

Here's a confession for you -- sometimes I don't feel like working. I simply don't want to answer e-mails or the phone. I don't want to write or create lesson plans. And other times, I seriously don't want to go to the gym. It's true. Just don't want to do it. And during these unmotivated moments, I can find dozens of things to do instead -- walk the dog, catch up on TiVo -- even organize receipts.

Sometimes I'll even procrastinate on one thing by doing something else which I had been procrastinating on, but which somehow seems preferable to the more pressing thing to put off. Like, sometimes I don't want to write and that I will choose the gym over writing.

I am truly blessed and lucky that I absolutely love what I do and my periodic bouts with procrastination are minor inconveniences. I also know I have the good fortune to have the tools to overcome procrastination by communicating with my other than conscious mind and working on setting my intention daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, to gauge my success.

When we procrastinate, we're simply avoiding. I suggest, that there are times when we can find value in procrastination. Sometimes when we avoid one thing, it'll push us to do something else.

We've all heard the saying 'time is of the essence', and most likely, we've felt the impact of it as well. Time management is key for success and if you're a procrastinator, having a way to manage that is important. Procrastination is a habit that can be broken and/or rerouted (depending on how severe). A great way to break a new habit is to replace it with a new, healthy habit. For example, smokers have many levels of habit to overcome when quitting, from the physical addiction, to the hand/mouth habit and I've seen people use carrot sticks as a temporary alternative.

Understand that your intention is what is setting you on the path to avoidance. And by switching this intention and having a solid resolve for what you want to do and how you're going to do it, you are setting your other-than-conscious on a mission. This works only if you and you train your other-than conscious mind properly.

Here's something you can try: have a conversation with your other than conscious and ask it for its help in getting things done. Set small goals at first, goals that you are certain you can keep, because you are training your other-than-conscious to work on your behalf. So if you say, 'I'm going to take out the garbage', take out the garbage. That's doable. And if you say, 'Tomorrow I'm going to make two phone calls which I will follow up on with letters', then make those phone calls and write those letters.

After you've set your intention, visualize yourself carrying out the tasks you gave yourself. By creating a synergy with your intention, your sub/other than conscious mind, and your imagination, this gives you the ability to push past procrastination.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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