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Conquering Procrastination

Thinking about some New Year's resolutions?  One of my occasional resolves is to stop putting things off, one of my big bugaboos!  Here's some great advice from the head of the local Tupperware« Distributorship.

"Why wait until the last minute?  Because putting off unpleasant, routine, or difficult tasks is human nature!  But if you discipline yourself to tackle the things you'd rather not do, you'll gain self-confidence and make the best use of your time.  In this segment about time challenges, we'll discuss techniques that may help you overcome procrastination.

  1. Think about how great you'll feel when the chore is completed.  Think positively about its outcome.  Wouldn't you love to mark it off your 'To Do' list?

  2. It's easy to do what you like first; those tasks that are easy, fun, or trivial.  Meanwhile, you may be postponing what you don't like to do; the difficult or important.  Solve this by doing the unpleasant first, then the rest of the day is an easier ride 'downhill'.  And, whatever remains undone that day will not be the most important thing that you needed to do.

  3. When you feel that you are avoiding something, perhaps the project is complex or overwhelming.  Try breaking it down into a series of steps to be entered on your 'To Do' list.  Then set up a specific time and date to begin working on the first step, and follow through as if it were an appointment.   Promise to spend just fifteen minutes a day on the task until it's done, and schedule these daily segments at the same time-- preferably for a quiet period when there will be no interruptions.  By doing a little at a time, eventually you will reach a point where you'll want to finish. 

  4. Set deadlines on everything- all goals and priorities; use reminders such as an egg timer or wrist alarm, or have someone you trust check on your progress.  Deadlines are very important, establish them yourself.

  5. Sometimes it's difficult to begin a task when you're afraid of making mistakes.  Try thinking of mistakes as 'lessons learned'.  Ask yourself what you learned and what you can do differently next time. Mistakes are natural-  which is why pencils have erasers!

  6. Try creating an incentive by promising yourself a special reward for getting the job- or a part of the job- done.  Then keep your promise to yourself and indulge in your reward.  Doing so will help you maintain the necessary balance in life between work and play.

Conquering procrastination will help your day (and the new year) become more relaxed, more successful and more rewarding!"

Great advice!  I intend to take it to heart.  In fact, I have already started on it, and have a lot of things out of the way that have been bugging me and making me feel guilty for weeks!


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