What have you been putting off? Almost all of us do it from time to time. I'm convinced that procrastination is one of the biggest causes of stress. You have something you know needs to be done. Often, it's not even something difficult. But you've made it difficult in your mind, and as a result, you never get started. Instead, you do everything else you can think of - wash dishes, organize your files, surf the internet, check email - rather than the thing you actually need to do. Perhaps you're even procrastinating right now. It drains your energy and wastes precious time.
This week, I challenge you to focus your energy and just do what needs to be done. There are two antidotes to procrastination:
1. Drop the goal or project, and don't do it.
2. Exercise some discipline, and just go ahead and do it.
Sometimes procrastination is a sign that you don't want or need to do the thing you're dreading, in which case Option 1 is a good choice (this does not apply to filing taxes, paying bills, picking kids up from school, etc.). At other times, procrastination is a sign of perfectionism, stubbornness or lack of self-discipline, all of which you have the power to change. If this is the category you relate to, Option 2 is your best choice. Don't make the task or project a big deal. Break it into smaller pieces and just get started.
So what is it that you need to do? Don't wait for inspiration, just start. You don't have to "feel" like doing something to do it. Often, in the process of starting, your mood develops. And even if it doesn't, the feeling you have after completing something you didn't want to do is well worth it.
My challenge to you this week:
Stop procrastinating. Get it done!
What have you been putting off? How could you break the task into manageable pieces? What step will you take today? By when will you cross this off your to-do list?
Check out my appearance on Living the Life last Friday, in which I coach a gentleman on overcoming his procrastination habit. The segment is about 16 ½ minutes into the show so if you like, you can skip ahead to get right to it: http://www.cbn.com/media/index.aspx?s=/Archive/ltl/ltl032108&title=Living%20The%20Life&prgm=ltl
And if you haven't already gotten your copy, How Did I Get So Busy? gives great advice for overcoming your procrastination habit. Order it online at http://www.amazon.com/How-Did-Get-Busy-Reconnect/dp/0767926226.
Until next time ...
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Valorie Burton, a life coach and speaker, is the author of Listen to Your Life, Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, What's Really Holding You Back?, Why Not You? and her latest, How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most. Subscribe to her FREE, inspirational e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com.
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