Saturday, May 17, 2008

Curing Your Procrastination

Think of the moment you're supposed to start working.

Are you aware of that moment? If not, part of the solution may be to force yourself to remember, for example, "9:00 is when I have to start working." You might even set a timer to go off at 9.

If you are aware of the moment, but let yourself get distracted by other activities, which of these is the cause and cure:
  • Laziness: Remind yourself that, like a heroin addict, the short-term pleasure will be outweighed by the long-term pain. Also, think of how good you'll feel when you get the task done and reap the benefits of that.
  • Fear of failure/rejection. Of course, sometimes fear of failure is a legitimate self-warning. For example, maybe the risk of starting that business or going back to college is too great. But often, the fear is irrational. If so, remember, if you don't try, you ensure failure. If you try and fail, couldn't you survive? And so what if those failures help you realize you are just average or mediocre. Not everyone can be a star. Just plain folk are worthy too. The only people who are unworthy are parasites: surviving mainly on other people's misery and/or largesse. Give yourself a break.
  • Fear of success: True, people may expect more of you if you succeed, but remember: You're worthy even if despite your best efforts, your results are mediocre. And if you fear success because it will make someone feel bad, remember that worthy people will rejoice in your success. If your co-worker or family member resents your success, does that person deserve your sabotaging yourself for that person?

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