Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Friday: Procrastination Nation

"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill." Christopher Parker

We all know procrastination well.  Most of us could write our own book on it, but we'd never get around to it. It's been said that it's the killer of time, the robber of success and the pillar of laziness.  And it doesn't seem to be getting better.  Modern life beckons us with distractions like television, video games, the internet and fast food.  Putting important things off becomes easier and easier year after year.  We all procrastinate sometimes, and many of us procrastinate daily.

So, how do we overcome this social ailment?  Being a procrastinator is not something we're born with; we learn this behavior.  From the many studies that have been done, experts agree that procrastinators are often perfectionists or people who are afraid of failure.  Also, many people give themselves too many things to do and become overwhelmed.  The good news is that learned behavior can be unlearned.

Many people overcome their habit of procrastination by setting goals for themselves.  These goals need to be realistic and mostly small.  If you set a large goal for yourself, it helps to break it down into chunks that can easily be managed.  Once you set goals for yourself, select a few that are easy or that you know you'll do.  Many people also find that a reward system is very motivating.  Once you begin to create new habits in smaller areas of your life (i.e. taking a half hour walk daily or cleaning the bathroom on Fridays), you can conquer another one that might seem a little bigger.

For me, procrastination has definitely created a lot of frustration in my life.  One thing I find that really works for me is to keep trying.  No matter how many times I tried to quit smoking, change my diet, start exercising, read more, etc., I always came back to it again.  Anyone who is successful at anything will tell you that they didn't get there on their first, second or third try.  They likely fell on their face many times, but they got back up.  This is the key to succeeding: keep trying!  Eventually, you have to get it right.

Mystic Merman

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