THE PERILS OF PROCRASTINATION
About one-fifth of adults report “trait procrastination,” which is the habit of routinely delaying tackling tasks that would lead to a more successful life. Procrastination not only causes stress and self-doubt, but procrastinators are more likely to suffer physical symptoms and to visit the doctor more often. The following ideas can help you to change your thinking so that you can overcome procrastination.
· SERIOUS SELF-TALK. On a piece of paper, create two columns. In one, write your excuses for not getting started on something. In the other, challenge these excuses with positive, realistic thoughts.
Excuse: “I don’t have enough time.”
Response: “The longer I wait, the less time I’ll have. So I’ll never have more time than I have right now.”
· PUBLIC PROMISE. Write a “contract” with yourself and sign it. Better yet, share your goals with a friend, spouse, or co-worker.
· SUCCESS SCENARIO. If you worry about what others think, imagine responding to and surviving harsh criticism.
· REWARD REMINDER. If your computer allows, set an alarm to sound off at regular intervals to remind you of the benefits of completing a task on time.