Mark Twain had something to say
about almost any topic you can imagine. On the subject of how
to avoid procrastination, Twain said, "Never put off until
tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." Everyone
can enjoy the humor in Twain's comment. But for many of us,
Twain's insight on the danger of procrastination is painfully
You can take the first step toward
a more satisfying life by getting serious about overcoming procrastination.
And the place to get started is in your own mind-that's where
the war is won or lost. To overcome procrastination, you have
to change your attitude. All successful people know that you
have a better chance of completing a job when you approach it
with a positive attitude:
- Your attitude is a choice.
Many people procrastinate because they tell themselves that
they will increase their chances of success if they wait for
all the circumstances to be "right" before tackling
a project. To be successful, you must force yourself to make
a decision and do something no matter what the circumstances
- Your attitude determines the
outcome of your actions. People who are successful at what they
do are rarely those with the greatest natural ability or the
highest IQ. People who are constantly able to complete jobs
successfully have a positive attitude-they believe they can
complete the job.
- You cannot control the past,
so move on. Thinking about how you might have responded differently
to a difficult problem in the past is an important part of preparing
to be a better problem-solver today. Analyze what you could
have done differently, chalk it up to experience, and then forget
The following quiz will help
you identify areas where you can take action today. Answer "yes"
to each statement that describes you.
1. I don't wait for the "right"
set of circumstances to tackle a job-I know the circumstances
will never be perfect.
2. I believe my project will
be successful if I give it my best effort.
3. When I fail, I don't blame
circumstances beyond my control; I ask myself what I could have
done differently to bring about a different result.
4. I don't fret over decisions
once I've made them-I stay focused on what I'm doing in the
5. I know when to wrap up a job-if
I spend more time on it I'm only making up excuses for not starting
If you answered "no" to any of the above statements,
make a commitment to change your attitude today. Choose one
item and do something about it. Don't move on to the next item
until you can truthfully answer "yes" to the previous
one. "Be not the slave of your own past," Ralph Waldo
Emerson said. Cut the chains of procrastination and start living
life to the fullest.