How to Stop Procrastinating

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ProcrastinationProcrastination can lead to many problems — tests failed, weight gained, relationships weakened.

But you can change your ways.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~Don Marquis

Here are some tips and steps to get you going!

Steps

  • Look at the effects of procrastination versus not procrastinating. What rewards lie ahead if you get it done? What are the effects if you continue to put it off? Which situation has better effects? Chances are, you will benefit more in the long term from facing the task head on.
    • Count how much time you spend on activities procrastinating. You may be shocked by the amount of time wasted simply watching TV.
  • Set reasonable goals. Plan your goals carefully, allowing enough time to complete them.
  • Break the task down into smaller parts. How can you approach it step by step? If you can concentrate on achieving one goal at a time, the task may become less of a burden.
  • Get started whether you “feel” like it or not. Going from doing nothing to doing something is often the hardest part of overcoming procrastination. Once you start, it will be easier to continue.
  • Ask for help. You don’t always have to do it alone.
  • Don’t expect perfection. No one is perfect. It’s better to try your best than to do nothing at all.
  • Reward yourself. The reward that lies at the end of a long road to a goal may be great, but while you’re on the way, it may not always be enough to motivate you. Remind yourself-with a break, a movie, some kind of treat you like-that you are making successful progress.
  • Don’t let yourself be distracted – by taking control and saying “no” to picking up the guitar, playing a DVD or texting your friends, you build confidence in your ability.
  • Other time traps to avoid: saying yes when you don’t have the time, studying when you’re tired or in a distracting location, not thinking ahead, not curbing your social time, and finally, taking on too many tasks and projects.

Tips

  • You may want to take a course in time management.
  • Several books have been written on procrastination. Here are the titles: “Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It” by Jane B. Burka, Lenora M., Ph.D. Yuen, “The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play” by Neil Fiore and for students, “Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade : A Life-Saving Guide for Students” by Linda Sapadin, Jack Maguire. These are highly recommended.
  • Of course, not everyone enjoys reading – a very good audio CD/cassette is, “Make Your Mind Work for You : New Mind Power Techniques to Improve Memory, Beat Procrastination and More” by Joan Minninger.
  • If you hate to read and begin to procrastinate think of it this way. If you have to read a 276 page book divide it into the amount of time you have. If you have about 2 weeks, reading about 21 pages a day is much less overwhelming.
  • Just start working

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