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Overcoming Procrastination

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1) Focus on a Specific Task

I have procrastinated on a lot of things, but I find it most helpful if I narrow my focus on doing one thing. Let's take this article. I had put it off for a while. This morning I decided to focus on it. I began, though, with other email, Googling nonsense and watching some news. But then I said, "Focus on the task." That's what I am doing right now.


A lot of procrastinators get overwhelmed thinking about all the things that they need to get done. But right now you can do only one thing -- not everything. Getting one thing done -- proving to yourself that you can overcome procrastination -- is a great way of overcoming any procrastination. Just apply these rules to each task that you are avoiding. You may find that your procrastination is always the same thing.


2) Assign a Specific Time

Like a lot of procrastinators, you might be vague about when you are going to get it done. You might say, "this week" or, even more vaguely, "sometime." The problem with being vague about time is that there will always be other things that come up for you. Make an appointment with the task.


Now some procrastinators think, "I can't really start it if I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to it." That just becomes another way of avoiding doing it. You don't have to get the whole thing done -- it's better to get it started -- better to get something done. I have found it quite helpful to give myself a time limit -- for example, "Spend one hour working on it." By limiting my commitment, I can feel that I am not going to be overwhelmed. You can always get something started, always do something -- always get more done than getting absolutely nothing done. Something is better than nothing.


3) List the Advantages and Disadvantages of Doing It

Procrastinators are great coming up with reasons not to do something. You can always convince yourself that it is too much to do, you don't have enough time, or you would rather do something else. Fine. Those are the disadvantages of doing it. But how about the advantages of doing it? If you get something started -- or finish something -- what will be the benefits to you? You might feel better about yourself, you might feel you finally overcame your procrastination and you might think you don't have to think about it anymore. Weigh these advantages and disadvantages.


Now, sometimes the advantages of getting something done are longer-term. For example, exercising today might not give you much of an advantage today -- in fact, you might have aches and pains after. But if you continued to exercise on a regular basis for a few months your advantages might accumulate. The same with sticking with your diet. The advantages might take a while to show up. Are you willing to invest some discomfort and time in making your life better?


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Overcoming Procrastination: 6 Steps to Getting It Done























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