All procrastination is the result
of deluding ourselves. Procrastinators deny reality, refusing
to accept responsibility for their lives. To defeat procrastination,
we must stop playing games with ourselves. You can't overcome
procrastination until you accept the fact that you are responsible
for what you make of your life. That may be more honesty than
many people are capable of, but there is no other way to achieve
a richer life.
The first step toward overcoming
procrastination is recognizing that it's a problem. Procrastinators
have big problems and small problems, but most of their problems
are caused by procrastination.
share certain traits:
- They know what they should
do about a problem, and in many cases they know what specific
action needs to be taken. Yet they find reasons to avoid action.
- They are reluctant to do anything
about a problem now, but vow to take action at some vague time
in the future.
- They promise to take action
when the "right" circumstances present themselves.
By making performance of the job depend on something else, they
justify their decision to delay action. They delude themselves
into thinking that their hands are tied. They would like to
do something but can't-it's not their fault.
Research shows that you can develop new habits in just two weeks
if you're serious about changing. Think about people you know
who always get things done. What are their work habits? How
do they approach unappealing tasks? How do they stay focused?
some simple tips that can help you take charge of your life
- Mentally prepare yourself to
be productive. I begin every day in prayer and meditation. I
keep inspirational messages where I can see them. Then I visualize
my success during the day. Procrastination is a real monster,
and it won't go away unless we do something about it every day.
If I'm passionate about a job, I can get it done at any time
of day and under any circumstances-the problem is when to tackle
the hardest and most tedious jobs. Always ask: At what time
of day am I most productive? Most people say they're most productive
early in the morning; by mid-afternoon it's harder for them
to sit still and concentrate on work. Try to schedule the hard
jobs for your most productive time.
- Don't over-socialize at work.
Office chitchat and gossip keep many people from getting more
accomplished. Let people know when you don't want to be disturbed.
Think about the things in your work environment that contribute
to staying focused. What things distract you or make you want
to postpone a job? How can you redesign your environment to
eliminate causes of procrastination? (A workspace doesn't have
to be neat, if you know where to find things.)
We are not victims of our circumstances.
You can overcome procrastination now-you can do the things that
need to be done. And you can learn to distinguish between the
things that need to be done now and the things that can wait.