Overcoming Procrastination: Building a Proactive Habit


  Overcoming Procrastination: Building a Proactive Habit

Procrastination is a bad habit that can be managed and overcome. Procrastination often occurs when we have conflicting demands in our lives: to start now to meet our personal needs, but also to proceed with caution or at a leisurely pace.

In order for this conflict to be resolved, you must balance your self-worth against the desire for immediate benefit. You cannot spend more time waiting around hoping that something will magically happen - because it won't, and you should expect failure as well.
If you have a history of procrastination, then what you need to do is actually quite simple. Specifically, you want to create a competitive situation in your life where you will act to counter the behaviors that are not conducive to your long-term interests.
In other words, procrastination needs to be linked with activities that are incompatible with procrastination; in turn, this will result in self-control. The key is addressing and managing issues before they get out of hand (or before they are even an issue).
To do this:
· Set goals in the short term for the long term. The main problem with procrastination is that we often delay action until later. So, try to act in the short term and set a goal for your long-term needs.
· Brainstorm about the best way to meet your immediate needs while also setting achievable goals for the long term.
· Stay on top of what you are doing - right now - in life in order to remain persistent. If you don't understand something, ask someone to help you out or stay focused on the task at hand (on an ongoing basis).
· Stretch further than you think is possible (don't stop) . This is similar to above; simply ask yourself if you can do it. If you feel like you can't, push a bit farther and just keep going.
· Plan your work and work your plan, taking a slow but steady approach to life. This is where patience is essential in building momentum.
· Remember that it takes years to make a habit, but it only takes seconds to break one (this holds true for both positive and negative habits).
· Improve yourself every day . Why not give yourself an edge because chances are you are going to need it one way or another… take this advice and run with it.
· Build on previous successes by leveraging them as personal motivators for your future goals. There is no reason why you cannot repeat a previous triumph and leverage it to perform better in the future.
· If you feel like you are too far off from your goals, then turn back . Don't give up and consider the idea of turning back so that you are not wasting more time.
· Motivate yourself with rewards . Use whatever it takes to get yourself motivated; otherwise, it is going to be easy to give in. But if you can find something that motivates you (whether physical or emotional), then use this method to create a sense of urgency and build momentum.
· Make time for friends . This is really important because when we feel loved through our friendships we are less inclined to procrastinate.
· Increase the gap between you and your goals . The bigger the gap, the harder it is to meet your goals. You want to set goals that are hard to achieve so that you will be forced into action.
· Keep track of how well you are doing and then tell other people about it. By bragging about what you have done, you can receive more benefits from your accomplishments, which will encourage better future performance.
· Simplify what needs to be done (and don't forget to budget for error). You don't need to make things complicated when it comes time to work. Try focusing on a simpler approach or a different solution so that this can reduce any unnecessary pressures.
· Don't be afraid to fail . If you can't accept failure, then in a way procrastination is inevitable because you want to delay disappointment. You have to realize that failure is an essential part of success and so it should be embraced if you want to achieve your goals.
· Don't make excuses . Instead of flaking out, come up with alternative solutions that can help build your momentum.
· Deal with issues immediately before they get out of hand. You can assign an issue to yourself and then set a time limit for when you are going to deal with it; if it doesn't get done within that timeframe, then take action immediately afterwards.
· Delay gratification now by thinking about how wonderful it will be later . If you don't take care of this now, what will happen in the future? Think about this question and then start taking control.
· Ignore people who try to talk you out of taking action (or exercising self-control). Don't let others slow you down because they don't know what they are talking about.
· Use laziness as an excuse to build more discipline . Rather than blaming your laziness for procrastination, think about it as a way to exercise self-discipline. If you can build this self-discipline, then it will be much easier to get things done moving forward.
· See how you compare against successful people . Use role models to inspire you.
· Focus on the process as opposed to the goal . If you are looking for a way to improve your performance, then focus on the process that will improve your skills.
· Make it fun and rewarding by engaging in healthy activities . You can make almost anything into a game or challenge, which will make self-control much easier.
· Reward yourself for making progress and having success (treat yourself). Don't forget to pat yourself on the back every time you achieve something worth celebrating – even if it is a small victory.
· Re-frame your beliefs about success . If you always place your self-worth in terms of achievement, then your mindset will become that of competition and take away your self-confidence. Instead, shift the focus away from what you do and onto how much you have learned.
· Read motivational stories . This is a good way to build up some positive momentum before the task at hand because it will make you feel happy to be working toward that goal.
· Try volunteering . This is a great way to practice self-control because it gives you something else to do when procrastinating. By giving time or money, you can practice developing the skills necessary for success and increase your determination for reaching those goals.
· Give to yourself (and take care of yourself too). You will be much better off if you can manage your time effectively. If you avoid this self-care, then it will become much harder to control your actions later on.
· Use dynamic stretches and warm-ups before exercising . People who do this are typically going to perform in a superior manner as compared to those who don't.
· Avoid multitasking . When you try to do too much at once, you are just going to end up doing less overall. By avoiding multitasking, you can get the right results in less time so that you have more time for other things.
· Set appointments with yourself .


As you can see, there is a variety of ways that you can use to increase your self-control; the most important thing to realize is that cutting down on distractions and becoming more focused will yield better results in the long-run. It is also important to remember that there are benefits to procrastination in that it improves your creativity and innovation.
If you want to add another chapter to this book, then give me some feedback in the comments and let me know what kind of advice you need .
Best Wishes!
Hard Copy Version: http://amzn.com/B008XH8SJ4 "The Daily Practice: A Physician's Guidebook" Blog: http://dailypracticebook.

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