Beat The Procrastination Blues

By: Kathy Gates

Ever find yourself delaying and delaying on something until
it becomes a crisis? That's when Procrastination has taken
charge of your life -- instead of YOU being in charge of
your life.

Procrastination is as natural to human beings as eating. It
's easy to do things we want to do, but the things we find
difficult or unpleasant are what we put off. And sometimes
delaying a little bit here and there is not a big deal. But
if procrastination is habitual for you, and is causing
things to happen in your life that you don't want to happen,
it's time for a new sheriff in town.

Simply, procrastination is just a habit of making the wrong
choices. It's choosing to take a nap instead of mowing the
lawn. It's deciding to watch "Friends" instead of working
out. It's opting to socialize with a co-worker instead of
working on a project. It's cleaning off your desk instead
of getting prepared for a meeting. It's "I'll do it later".

Now there's nothing inherently wrong with any of these
choices. As an adult you have the luxury of choosing how
you behave, and choosing your own responsibilities. And we
all have responsibilities that we don't particularly care
for. But if you allow Procrastination to make choices that
aren't good for you, or that you don't really want to make,
then it's time to put your Procrastination Buddy on a leash.

"Just Do It" may be a great marketing slogan, but in real
life we often need a little bit more to work with. To
conquer Procrastination, you will need to change the
behavior that works against you achieving the desired
results. Remember that you are changing a habit, and it
will feel uncomfortable and unnatural at first.

But with
practice, you can teach Procrastination that it is not
welcome in your life. Here are three ways to do this.

1. When you recognize a particular task is difficult for
you and that you continually put it off until the last
minute, try designing a system to handle it, instead of just
"putting out the fire" when it becomes a problem. For
example, if you're always putting off or talking yourself
out of your gym time, consider setting up a buddy system, so
that you know you're going to meet someone. Or make a date
with someone to come over to your house to work out with
you - a trainer, or a friend. By doing this, you have set up
a system that will pull you forward when you're willpower is

2. Determine if Procrastination is signaling you that you
have made a mistake in your choice. If you find it
difficult to go to work in the morning, perhaps you are in
the wrong job. If you find that you don't want to go home
in the evening after work, it may be that you are living in
a place that is not healthy for you. Don't continue a
mistake. Admit the mistake to yourself first and others (if
necessary), and make the necessary arrangements to make it
right. One of my clients was a senior in college receiving
a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was having
difficulty finishing projects, doing homework, studying for
tests. His parents believed that he was afraid to go out
into the "real world". But as we talked, it became apparent
that he had never wanted to be an engineer and had allowed
others to make those choices for him. He was spending all
his time working in a restaurant where they were teaching
him how to cook. As soon as he recognized that he had made
a mistake, he was able to tell his parents how he really
felt, and make the change to get the training to be a chef.

3. We all have things we're good at and things we prefer to
do, and Procrastination can also signal that it is task that
you really don't like to do. Ask first, does it have to be
done at all, and second, does it have to be done by you.
Consider delegating the task to someone who would enjoy it,
so that you can concentrate on things that you would devote
more creativity and energy to. Personally, I struggle with
keeping exercise in my life. So instead of learning things
I didn't find interesting, I hired a trainer who shows me
what to do and helps me move forward consistently. I
delegated that job to him, and now, I don't have to think
about it anymore.

Finally, REWARD yourself for a job well done. This is very
important and a step that a lot of people ignore. A reward
can come in any form you choose, from a simple affirmation
to yourself, to buying yourself a treat. Realize that the
ultimate reward for taming Procrastination is that by being
in control of what you do, and finding ways to do it
efficientlyPsychology Articles, you have given yourself more time to enjoy your


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