Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Can't Believe You Haven't Started Yet!

Most of us procrastinate at some time. What are the signs of procrastination besides waiting until the last minute to do something?

Try these on for size: being reluctant to take risks or try something new, staying at home or in the same old job, getting sick when faced with an unpleasant job, avoiding confrontations or decisions, blaming others or the situation ("it's boring") for your unhappiness or to avoid doing something, making big plans but never carrying them out, and/or having such a busy social-recreational calendar that it is hard to get important work done.

Procrastinators use putting off tactics as a way to avoid the assumed anxieties associated with the avoided activity….calling, planning for a complicated event, or undertaking a project fraught with difficulty like losing weight.

The procrastinator is some one who knows what he wants to do, knows he can do it, and is trying to do it, but doesn't do it.

All procrastinators put off things they have to do. Structured procrastination is the art of making this bad trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it.

Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.

If your form of procrastination is call avoidance and you want to make that call, then the above approach would work in your favour if you decide to call as a way of avoiding doing something more important, but presumably more painful, like making an appointment for a root canal, or running 5 miles to get ready for a marathon, or preparing yet one more tax report.

Below is some extra ammunition to help you find a way of looking at procrastination that may help you overcome it.

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried." Author Unknown"You may delay, but time will not." Benjamin Franklin

"Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the "someday I'll" philosophy." Denis Waitley

"In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing." Theodore Roosevelt

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started." Dawson Trotman

"Procrastination is the thief of time." Edward Young

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." Don Marquis

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." Benjamin Franklin

"Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!" Donald Gardner

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." Walt Disney

"In delay there lies no plenty." William Shakespeare

"Stop talking. Start walking." L.M. Heroux

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." Napoleon Hill

Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count." Dr. Robert Anthony

"He who hesitates is last." Mae West

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

And the great Nike catch cry.... Just do it!

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