Saturday, June 15, 2024

How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

If you’re like most people, you sometimes procrastinate on important projects, and end up feeling stressed-out.  Jacqueline at chibird created a great cartoon called “Stages of Procrastination.”

It made me laugh because (at some point in my life) I’ve been stuck in every one of them.  Her third stage, “excuses” resonated most with me.


Have you ever said to your self, “I’m busy right now” and continued working on a low priority task?  Perhaps you were “busy” organizing your desk or filing papers, when you should have been working on an important project that was almost due.  In most cases, it is a rationalization to avoid working on the important task because it is usually more difficult or unpleasant.  Yet the most important tasks are the ones with the highest reward.


One strategy to break the procrastination cycle is to keep reminding yourself of all the rewards you will receive when you finish the important project.  Imagine how great it will feel when you turn the project in on time.


Don’t focus on how hard or frustrating the project will be.  Focus instead on the rewards.  Once you start working on your highest priority, you will find that it was not as difficult as you had imagined it would be.  As John Anster advised:


“Seize this very minute;
whatever you can do or dream you can do,
begin it.
Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it.”


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