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Overcoming Procrastination - Critical Success Factors

Aug 17, 2007
Procrastination is a very common problem in society today. The definition of procrastination means to literally avoid doing a task that needs to be completed. We are all guilty of it at one time or another in our lives.

As a matter of fact, one recent study conducted at Harvard University had alarming results. The study concluded that 90% of the college students that were surveyed did procrastinate and of those, 25% of them ended up dropping out of college all together.

Overcoming procrastination is not an easy thing to do. Here are six guidelines to follow that can help a person in overcoming procrastination.

1. Time Management

Learning to manage your time is one big step to overcoming procrastination. Writing out a list of the first and most important items to be completed, down to the least important items can be helpful.

Finishing the task that really needs to be done first, and then working your way down the list will help a person organize their priorities.

2. Goal setting

If a person doesn't have a goal to meet, success in overcoming procrastination is unlikely. There has to be an outcome from completing the task. For instance, if a college student has a goal to get B's in all of their classes, then they know that they have to study.

Also, setting realistic goals is very important. If this same college student sets goals that are too high, then they are setting themselves up for failure. Failure will in turn lead back around to procrastination.

3. Rewards

Reward yourself if you complete a task. This will make it easier to complete the next task. Also, do not dwell on any failures; instead, pat yourself on the back for your success.

4. Atmosphere

A person's environment has allot to do with overcoming procrastination. For example, if a person is writing, they may need quiet space. Other factors are, comfortable temperatures, lighting, music, and having the necessary equipment available to you.

5. Organization-Before you sit down and try to complete this task, make sure you are organized with the tools you need.

6. Discipline

A person can set all the goals they want, but the next step in this process is to have self discipline. If a person decides that they want to lose 30 pounds and they set that as their goal, they need to figure out what it is going to take to reach that goal.

Whatever it takes, whether it means a mile walk everyday or watching their caloric intake, they need to push themselves toward that goal.

Overcoming procrastination can be done if these simple steps are done.

One thing to consider is that procrastination is NOT laziness. Our society tends to blame laziness on procrastination. In most cases, laziness is not the problem.

Five factors that may cause procrastination are as follows:

1. Lack of interest in a certain task. If a person dislikes painting, they are allot more likely to put it off than if they enjoyed painting.

2. Perfectionism-Some people have a fear of failing. This tends to make people not want to attempt a task that they are not familiar with.

3. Personal problems-If a person is consumed with personal problems in their life, they tend to put tasks on the back burner while they focus on their problems.

4. Lack of concentration-If a person can't get focused on the task at hand, it will be difficult to complete.

5. Low self esteem-The majority of procrastinators are people with low self-esteem. They have negative beliefs that they cannot finish a certain task.

These are just a few of the most common causes of procrastination. Again, overcoming procrastination is not an easy thing to do, but with the right tools and mind set, it can be done.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report that reveals how to crush procrastination and sustain lasting motivation. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: stop procrastinating
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