Six Steps to Conquering -- OK, Managing -- Procrastination

This article is taken from MSN Site:


Step 1: Decide if you really want to do the task. Maybe its benefits aren't worth the effort.


Step 2: If you want to do the task, do you want to do it now or schedule the darn thing on your calendar?


Step 3: Identify the moment of truth: The moment you're about to procrastinate. That moment occurs when you realize you should do the task, or when you reach a hard part. At that moment, say aloud, "Stop!" Literally pinch yourself for sliding back into your wicked ways, and make yourself summon the energy and discipline to get started. That's when you have to believe, "Right now, it's in my interest to be productive rather than to have fun." After starting, you'll find it easier to continue. If that doesn't work, proceed to Step 3A.


Step 3A: Ask yourself, "What's making me reluctant to do the task?" Your response may be: "It's going to be hard" or "I'd rather do something fun." Now come up with a solution:


Let's say you're afraid the task will be difficult. Remind yourself you can divide it into small bites, and when you reach a tough part, you probably can ask for help.



If you're tempted to do something fun instead of the task, ask yourself whether the short-term relief is worth the long-term consequences. It's your call.


  If you're afraid to request a job because you believe you're not qualified, ask yourself if that's rational. If so, get training or change careers. If it's irrational, recognize that and make the phone call.

Step 4: Commit to a small amount of effort, for example, three phone calls. Work at being efficient during that time. Ask yourself, "Is this the straightest line to finishing the task?"


Step 5: When you're finished, ask yourself if it was worth the effort to complete the task.


Step 6: Block out some time for pure, unadulterated, guilt-free fun.



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