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How to Avoid Procrastination

Posted on January 26th, 2010

If you’ve landed on this page there’s a good chance you’re looking for information on how to avoid procrastination.  You’re probably aware that procrastination can cause all kinds of problems in your life, such as stress, depressions, lack of motivation, and others.

At StopProcrastinating.net, we define procrastination as “A chronic habit  (caused primarily by fear or discomfort) of illegitimately justifying to oneself that a task does not, should not, or cannot be started now.“  We feel it’s important to note that procrastination is not necessarily a problem of time management, but more a matter of not facing your fears and being reluctant to undergo tasks that are perceived to be unpleasant.

Here are some quick tips on how to avoid procrastination.

1)  Break down big tasks as they arise. Fear of the unknown is a very common cause of procrastination.  If you have been given a big project at school, for example, you may immediately feel overwhelmed by what it’s going to take to get the job done.  By delaying, the perception of being overwhelmed will worsen and the overall job will seem much more daunting as more time goes by and you have less time to finish it.

To combat this problem, immediately break down the project into smaller chunks so that you have a good idea of what you’ll have to do to tackle the project.  Avoid procrastination by being proactive immediately.  You don’t necessarily have to start working on the project right away, but knowing how much you have to do and what you’ll have to do in order to get it done will help avoid procrastinating on the task at hand.

2)  Acknowledge that your task is something you do not want to do. Procrastination can also be defined as avoiding tasks you do not want to do (for whatever reason.)  To look at it another way, it is highly unlikely that you will avoid doing a task you love to do, right?  So in order to avoid procrastination, admit to yourself right away that this is a task you do not want to do and that it’s something you are probably going to procrastinate on.  Say to yourself “I afraid of taking my car in for regular servicing because I am afraid what they’re going to find will be too expensive.”  Follow that up with “I know if I don’t take it in, things could get much worse when I am forced to take it in.”  Eventually you can develop the habit of saying to yourself “I know I don’t want to do this, so I’m going to do it right away.”

3)  Just Start. Procrastinators habitually talk themselves out of starting unpleasant tasks.  Sometimes it just takes some “tough love” to avoid procrastinating — suck it up and just get started.  Don’t allow yourself to weasel out of doing something because of anything.  Just get started and you’ll be amazed how easily you can get through something.

    One of the most powerful motivators you can use to avoid procrastinating is to imagine how much better you’ll feel when you know you have completed an unpleasant task.  You won’t have to think about it anymore and it won’t cause you stress or worry.

    If you are a chronic procrastinator and you wish to break the habit to achieve more in your life, please visit www.stopprocrastinating.net and check out the 21-day program on how to stop procrastinating.

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