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4 Steps To Avoid Procrastination And How To End It Now

Feb 5, 2008
In deciding not to procrastinate, you may want to accompany this determination with clear cut and well defined goals.

In other words, have a goal that is quantified, and not just qualified.

For example, saying "I will lose weight" is NOT as powerful as "I will lose 35 pounds in 1-1/2 years." These are concrete data you can work with. "I will lose weight" sounds noble enough, but let's count the ways, shall we?

Tip # 1 Everything starts and ends with the self

If someone said to you that you were a procrastinator, your immediate reaction would be to defend yourself. "It's his fault", "My mother was like that too", "I was forced to do something I didn't want to do".

Some people like to blame their misfortunes on others. But the truth is, you are equally at fault. You procrastinate because you yourself choose to procrastinate. The sooner you accept that, the better you'll be able to overcome procrastination.

Tip # 2 I want NOT to procrastinate anymore

In line with tip # 1 above, once you accept that procrastination is your weakness, the next step is to eliminate this weakness. Your desire not to procrastinate anymore should be sincere. You need to demonstrate that determination through small daily gestures.

Tip # 3 Mea Culpa-Take Responsibility

You've accepted the fact that (a) you're a procrastinator, and (b) you have a sincere desire to change. Now tell yourself that if you fail to achieve a particular goal or a given task, it's because you procrastinated. Mea culpa. Admitting guilt is a giant step.

Note, however, that there is a huge difference between admitting guilt and being too hard on yourself. Admitting guilt is taking ownership of your actions. Being too hard on yourself is unjustified self-blame. Continue from where you left off.

Tip # 4 Ask: In what ways do I procrastinate?

Ask yourself, "In what ways do I procrastinate?" Sit down with pen and paper. Writing them will help you focus and identify them more clearly. Here are some ways where people procrastinate:

1) paying bills which includes your electricity bills, handphone bills, mortgage bills etc

2) not discussing the complaints you've received about a member of your team for fear of hurting his/her feelings

3) repeatedly postponing a dental appointment because you've got better things to do

4) not returning the call of your son's teacher because you know what the problem is and you're fed up

5) not discussing your resentment about your husband spending too much time at work or with his buddies

6) not getting that hair cut, that dress dry-cleaned, that donation mailed

7) not visiting a sick relative in the hospital

8) not telling your significant other you no longer love her/him

9) not calling your doctor about that persistent numbness in your right arm or not fixing a colonoscopy exam date

10) not having the car's squeaking brakes checked

11) not going to confession because you never know what the priest's schedule is

12) not sending that overdue thank you note or making that overdue call to your mother-in-law.
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