I don’t know anyone who doesn’t deal with procrastination in some area of their life. I confess I deal with it in most areas of mine. I’m pretty good at it. Too bad no one needs lessons in how to procrastinate. Fortunately, the victories I have experienced also equip me to combat it more effectively, as it is rarely productive.
This subject is fresh on my mind because I went last week for a medical screening that I had putting off for no less than TEN years! Actually, at some point, I made an intentional decision to schedule it in 2008. Then I MADE myself follow through with that. My biggest lesson on the pain of procrastination was learned with my tax returns. I used to always get an extension, but I discovered that it never got easier to do them. It actually became more difficult the longer I waited and the last time I delayed I had to pay some penalties. Now I set a date to get them to my accountant and stick with it.
Here are a few hints that help me get the task at hand checked off so I can move forward:
1. Set a specific deadline for accomplishing the task. Put it in writing.
2. Schedule a time to begin the task. Not complete it… just begin.
3. Schedule it for your high energy time of the day so that you can begin with a good attitude.
4. Write out some affirmations and talk to yourself in an encouraging way about this subject. For example: “I have a great sense of accomplishment as I press through the task of…”
5. Reward yourself in some way, no matter how small, when you act in a timely manner.
Remember, the pain of discipline is short-lived. The pain of regret lingers.