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is something ...
best put off until tomorrow."
January 23, 2006
The simple truth is that our
keep these resolutions boils down to one word:
does a 12-step program for procrastinators look like?
A room full of empty chairs
Patricia Crane, Ph.D. Scientist, Teacher, Workshop Leader
you ever thought about why you procrastinate? Years ago I discovered that my tendency
to procrastinate had its roots in teenage rebellion against my mother! When I
realized how little value that rebellion had for me as an adult, I could effectively
change my behavior. Procrastination is a habit, and one that can be changed
if you are willing. If you have a big project or big dream, procrastinating will
just delay it forever and find you regretting the lack of action later.
When I was working on my PhD dissertation, I found myself delaying for months
because it was such as huge task. Finally I made a deal with myself: I would work
on it every morning for 2 hours. Once I did that, I could do anything I wanted
to for the rest of the day! What happened is I started getting involved with the
project, working 5 to 7 hours a day on it, and the draft was finished in 6 weeks.
1. Start by taking
care of a few of those small tasks right away. When you do, CONGRATULATE yourself.
Go to the mirror and praise yourself.
2. Create some AFFIRMATIONS
for your new way to deal with things. "It feels great to be taking care
of things easily and quickly!" (Note do not use the word 'procrastination'
in your affirmations because that gives your subconscious mind the very image
of what you do NOT want.)
3. List a few "INSTANT TASKS."
What are some immediate things you could take care of easily?
If you're working on a big project that seems daunting, set aside a short block
of time to work on it, say 15 - 30 minutes. Establish MINI-DEADLINES.
5. Set PRIORITIES. What are the most important tasks that need to be accomplished?
Write them down and schedule them.
6. Use the magic "IF"
"I just can't, but IF I could, what would I do?" On the
days I didn't feel like working on my dissertation, I would do something mindless
like typing up the book list or the table of contents.
time to recognize any FEARS you might have ... then breathe deeply, and
let them go.
8. Identify your most CREATIVE TIME during the day
and schedule THAT time for your project.
9. Ask yourself, "How
will I feel in 5 years ... if I DON'T put energy toward this goal?"
10. Stop judging yourself for procrastinating. Accept yourself,
even when you are procrastinating. Then FORGIVE YOURSELF and GET GOING!
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