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How To Stop Procrastinating: The Initial Stages
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Have you ever put something off, delayed and procrastinated about it? Of course you have. Most of us have procrastinated at some point in our life. However, at one extreme there those who procrastinate occasionally, recognise what’s happening and do everything they can to overcome it. At the other extreme there are those who practically turn it into a lifestyle, talking about what they would do if they could, but not making any effort to start. And then there are all the different points in between these two extremes. Wherever you stand between the two extremes the majority of us have wanted to know at some point how to stop procrastinating.

Most people will say if you want to stop procrastinating, then you just need to make a little more effort. There is some truth in that, but if it was that easy people would just do it. So what stops people? I believe one of the key reasons why people continue to procrastinate is lack of understanding and honesty about the how, why and when of procrastination.

If you want to learn how to stop procrastinating there are important steps that you should take before you can start applying any strategies to overcome it.

1. Be honest with yourself There is no point in trying to learn how to stop procrastinating, if you’re not prepared to be honest with yourself. So make a promise to yourself before you even start that you’ll look objectively at what causes you to procrastinate, even if the truth isn’t very palatable. If you can’t be honest, then there’s no point in starting.

2. Identify when you procrastinate Think about times when you procrastinate. Jot them down. You might have quite a few answers but it doesn’t matter. This is a necessary step to take before you can start working out how to stop procrastinating. Don't miss anything out.

3. Understand why you procrastinate If you ask most people about why they procrastinate, the chances are they say ‘laziness’. Clearly laziness is sometimes a cause, but there are others some of which are shown below.

  • Laziness
  • Perfectionism
  • Depression
  • Boredom
  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Lack of energy
  • Emotional avoidance
  • No goals

4. Recognise the triggers.

Ask yourself if there are any particular triggers that cause you to procrastinate. It doesn’t have to be something huge, they can be quite small things. Eg it may be because you don’t like feeling under pressure, it may be because someone else tries to tell you.

5. Be committed to change Once again this come back to being honest with yourself. Once you have identified when and why you procrastinate, you need to decide how committed you are to change. If you’re not then accept that the status quo won’t change. If you’re really committed then it’s at this stage and this stage only, that you’re ready to learn how to stop procrastinating and adopt strategies that will suit you and help you move on.

Going though these initial steps really will contribute to your success in learning how to stop procrastinating. It’s now that you’re ready to look at different strategies that you can use to overcome periods of procrastination.

Street Talk

Great Article, I would think being overwhelmed has ALOT to do with procrastination as well. Taking action is the only way to overcome everything.

  about 1 decade ago
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