Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves. -Dale Carnegie.
Procrastination can quickly create a logjam of unfinished business in all areas of your life, including financial crises, relationship problems, chronic underachievement, physical illness and more.
There are many ways to deal with procrastination, but one of the most effective is simple – yet powerful: starting!
Getting started is often the hardest part of any intimidating task. We tend to build up difficult tasks and chores in our minds, which makes them seem bigger and more unpleasant the longer we put them off. If we avoid these tasks for long enough, it can seem like the hardest thing in the world to take them on!
However, once we commit to simply getting started working on a task we often lose much of our fear and hesitation. Once we’ve started, we can usually keep going and make a fair amount of progress – more than we expected to make at the beginning.
But how do you push yourself to start when you’d rather keep avoiding a particular task?
First, talk yourself into believing that it won’t be so bad once you get started. Remember, one reason you procrastinate is because you convince yourself that a task will be incredibly difficult or unpleasant. If you turn that perception around and affirm that it’s manageable, you’ll be more receptive to taking action.
If that doesn’t work, try committing to a short amount of time, like 10 or 15 minutes. Most often you’ll be able to face only 10 or 15 minutes of a task, no matter how unpleasant you think it will be. Once you’ve completed those few minutes, you’ll probably decide to keep going.
Another helpful tactic is to consider the unpleasant consequences that could result if you don’t make some progress on your chore or task. This may not work if there won’t be any immediate consequences, but it can be extremely effective otherwise.
If all else fails, get angry! Not angry at yourself, but angry at fear and procrastination. Tell them that you’re not going to allow them to control your life any longer. Tell them that YOU make the decisions around here, and you’re going to get moving on this task because you know it needs to be done. Then allow that anger to push you forward and do what you need to do.
No matter what needs to be done to push yourself to get moving, you’ll definitely enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment when you overcome your tendency to procrastinate and begin seeing some real progress in your life! If you stick with it for long enough, you’ll grow to love that sense of power and control – and you probably won’t have to push yourself to get moving any longer.
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