Whenever I actually complete the task I had been putting off, I always react the same.
"Oh, that was not as bad as I thought.,"
"i wish I had dome that sooner."
"Next time I will do things differently."
"If I can do this, I will tackle other things that I have avoided.'"
Then time goes by. Old habits settle in. Boom, we are back to square one, as if nothing ever happened, returning to our procrastinating ways.
So what is the cure -- or the vaccine? How do we avoid putting ourselves in these situations?
I wish I knew the answer. I don't.
But I have some ideas on how we can get this under control. Here is a half-dozen of them:
1. Simply do not let the thing that you are avoiding beat you up any more than it has to. Set a deadline to start attacking it. Break up the big task into smaller pieces, and before you know it, it is all done.
2. Ask for help. use your resource.s Don't suffer alone.
3. Talk it out. See if a friend or therapist can help you see that you can handle the thing you are letting overwhelm you.
4. Stop making excuses as to why you are not doing what is supposed to get done.
5. Use your addictions not to comfort your stalling ways, but as a reward for when you actually complete the task at hand.
6. Remind yourself you have performed tough, laborious, boring, or costly tasks before -- and survived and succeeded. You will get through this, just as you have before.
Human psychology is an amazing field to study. We can diagnose others, hand out advice, and see where people fall short. But our radar is broken, when we look at ourselves. Somehow our microscope's lens is shattered when we turn it inward.
Authors procrastinate because they:
- Don't feel confident they will succeed at the task at hand.
- Fear failure and don't feel motivated.
- Let doubts and questions get in the way of action.
- Lack resources, help, or support.
- Feel out of their comfort zone.
- Simply just want to write and want to ignore editing, marketing, or finding a publisher.
But authors can do more -- and better. I understand the procrastination beast well. I also know that we can see our energy, brainpower, and emotional currency towards building something, rather than tearing ourselves down. Don't delay -- act now!
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