Procrastination isn't only about deciding not to do or todelay doing something - it also means that we have chosento do something else instead.
So, it's watching TV insteadof having a relaxing swim.
It's going out to lunch with afriend when there's a report to be completed.
Habituallymaking choices which don't serve us well will continuallycreate challenges and drama in our lives.
Procrastination causes stress. Yes, most of us have toomuch on our plates, but leaving things until they reallyhave to be done just ensures that we put even morepressure on ourselves.
Delaying things take time and energy - because when youknow that something needs to be done and you're not doingit - it stays in the back of your mind and silently drainsyou.
Procrastination is only a habit and habits can be changed.The first thing to ask yourself is whether procrastinationis a sign that you need to change something fundamental inyour life (ie job, environment, relationships) or if it'smasking fear, lack of self-confidence, self-esteem etc
There are a number of ways to tackle procrastination andyou can use different strategies for different situations.
May of live a "have to", rather than a "want to" life. Ourlives are full of obligations and things that we don't reallywant to do. But with some creative and imaginative thinkingwe can convert the "have tos" into the "want tos".
How canwe do this? By thinking beyond the immediate task andfocusing on the wider benefits of completion.
For instance, if you don't want to do the books or openyour bank statements, you can try asking yourself what arethe benefits of greater financial control.
Will you have much more money in the long run as you learnto save, spend and invest it wisely? How much freer willyou feel now that you've taken back control and your energyisn't being drained by the nagging, insistent worry that youought to be doing something about it - because you alreadyare!
By which I mean do the thing you least want to do when youhave the most energy to do it.You can always find the energyto do things that you enjoy doing, but you need your energylevel to be highest when tackling things which you don'tcare for.
So, if you're at your best in the morning - thentackle the administration then, clear out your clutter andvice versa if you're an afternoon or evening person.
We have things that we're good at and things that we preferto do. Ask yourself: (i) does it have to be done at all?(ii) does it have to be done by you? Is there someone elsewho could do the job?
You may decide that you don't wantto concentrate your energies on bookkeeping, but you canhire a bookkeeper to free you from this. Or someone else atwork may like administration; ask for their - or more -assistance.
4. Do it in pieces
The difficulty with procrastination is that the task mayseem overwhelming because it has been avoided for so long.It has grown in size and taken on a life of its own!
Bringit back down to earth and start tackling it in bite sizedpieces (when you're at your best! - see no 2)
5. Develop a system
Procrastination takes up time and energy. You may alwaysfind yourself on the defensive as things catch up with you.Developing a system means that you nip procrastination inthe bud.
If you want to take more exercise, then exercise with abuddy, hire a personal trainer (either at your house orthe gym). Join a walking club, sports club - somewherewhere you are committed to being and encourage others tocommit with you.
Set up structures which ensure thatprocrastination doesn't get the chance to put its feetunder your table.
And remember to reward yourself when you've brokenthrough and achieved something.
Dealing with procrastination is one way of taking backcontrol of your life and the ultimate reward is havingmore time to really enjoy your life.
©2003 by Julie Plenty
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