why do i procrastinate

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  • M l zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA

    1 zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAWhy Do I Procraslinate?

    DreCliOllS:zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA START:zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA Find out why peop le p ro crast inat e. W * t Ad m i t t hat p ro crast inat io n wo rks fo r yo u .

    ^ 4* M easu re t he sever i t y o f yo ur p rob lem .

    Learn t o recognize t he urge t o p ro crast inat e.

    END: Co m m i t t o m aking a chang e.

    ThezyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA re is a good chance that yo u are reading this book because yo u are unhappy w ith yourself. You have probably been procrastinat-

    ing on things for some time, have tried to change on your o w n, and

    have not been very successful. If you are like most procrastinators,

    you have probably made promises to yourself that the next time

    you are faced w ith a task yo u w i l l not w ait until the last minute

    to get it done. In fact, yo u have probably made that promise more

    lhan once and have had trouble keeping it. This book is for people

    who:

    D o n t understand w hy they procrastinate.

    Feel bad about do ing it.

    W ish that they d id n't.

    W ant to change, but d o nt kno w how.

    Procrastination is hard to change. It is no t something yo u can

    |u si decide to give up and then completely let it go. It is a w ell-

  • THE PROCRASTIN ATOR'S GU IDE TO GETTIN G THIN GS DON I zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA

    w o rn path in yo ur life, a habit tliai iszyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA SO automatli that It docii not require thought or planning. It is not li kc you open yo ur eyes In the

    mo rning and say, " I th ink I'm going to procrastinate today." Il is

    actually quite the opposite. You start yo urd ay saying thatzyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXW VUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA yOV w ill not take that path, fali into that habit, andzyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXW VUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA ye\ t r ea l l z i n g it y o u f i n d y o u r sel f t h er e a g a in . Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n m igh t be th a t sl igh t pause w h er e y o u i n t en d t o d o a task b u i h esi t a te an d t h en t u r n aw ay. M a y b e y o u rea ch fo r t h e p h on e t r a l i som con e a n d t h en ch an ge y o u r m i n d a n d t e l l y o u r sel f i h a i y o u w i l l d o i t l a t d O r y o u go t o t h e k i t ch en w i t h t h e i n t en t i o n o f w a sh i n g l h e d ish es, y o u see t h e m ess, a n d t h en y o u leave t h e r o o m l o d o so m et h i n g cise. Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n occu rs w h en y o u st a r t a t ask l i k f i p a y i n g y o u r b l is a n d t h en f in d y o u r se l f cl ea n i n g o u t a d ra w er i n st ea d . Il ' s a lso l hose t i m es w h en y o u f in d y o u r se l f sp en d i n g m ore t i m e g et t i n g ready t o d o a t a sk , l i k e st r a i g h t en i n g u p y o u r o f f i ce before y o u w o r k , t h a f t a ct u a l l y d o i n g t h e w o r k . I t is l i k e d r i v i n g d o w n t h e roacl t o w a r d y o u r d est i n a t i o n a n d t h en t u r n i n g o f f i n a n o t h er d i r ec t i o n at t h e l a st m o m en t .

    Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n is o u r co m f o r t zon e. It is w h ere w e feel t h e m o st a t ease. I t is f a m i l i a r . W e k n o w h o w t o d o i t . It doesn ' t ch a l -lenge us o r scare u s. Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n g ives us t em p o r a r y co m f o r t i n a w o r l d f u l l o f d em a n d s a n d u n cer t a i n t i es. I t is o u r rest st op o n t h e l o n g r o a d o f l i f e a n d r esp o n si b i l i t i es.

    Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n is a lso a n a l t er ed st a t e o f r ea l i t y . I t is o u r h a p p y p lace. I t a l l o w s us t o b el ieve t em p o r a r i l y t h a t w e have n o t h -i n g t o d o . I t pu sh es o u r t o - d o l i st so f a r o u t o f o u r m i n d s t h a t f o r a sh o r t w h i l e w e ca n a l m o st bel ieve t h e l i st does n o t ex i st . I t m akes us bel ieve w e deserve t o rest , r el a x, a n d t a k e i t easy. I t m akes us feel b o l d i n j u st i f y i n g o u r i n a c t i o n , i n a c t i v i t y , h esi t a t i o n , a n d a vo id -an ce.

    Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n is a r o a d b l o ck o n y o u r l i f e p a t h . I t slow s y o u r p rogress a n d som et im es t a kes y o u o f f cou rse a l t o g et h er .

    Pr o cr a st i n a t i o n is sed u ct i ve. I t a l l o w s y o u t o have a l i t t l e b i t o f j o y o r p leasu re o r r el i ef f r o m st ress. I t t a kes aw ay t h e t h i n g s y o u h a t e t o d o a n d rep laces t h em w i t h so m et h i n g b et t er . I t keeps y o u f r o m h a v i n g t o d ea l w i t h u n p l ea sa n t p eop le a n d d i f f i c u l t ch ores. I t

    W hy Do I Procrast ina t e?

    allows you to delay getting bad news. It gives yo u five more minutes

    in the comfort o f yo ur bed on a cold w inter mo rning.

    Procrastination is, however, only a disguise. It masks your true

    thoughts and feelings. It masquerades as laziness, but it is much more

    than that. O n the surface, procrastination looks like a comfortable,

    relaxing experience, but underneath it is fu ll o f guilt and self-loathing.

    Peacefulness is w hat we pretend to feel w hile we are procrastinating,

    yet it is anything but peaceful. W hile we are procrastinating we are

    w atching ourselves do it. We are criticiz ing the behavior. We are

    filled w i th guilt for p utting things off. We dread w hat w i l l happen

    if we w ait any longer to get started. We hate ourselves for do ing it

    and call ourselves names such as "lazy," "irresponsible," "uncaring,"

    "stupid ," and "worthless." We act like we are relieved not to have to

    deal w ith whatever we are try ing to ignore, but we are stressing on

    the inside, w o rry ing about w hat we w i l l eventually have to face. You

    have probably had experiences where yo u sat in fro nt o f the TV to

    w atch the news for a few moments before getting started on your

    chores but were distracted by thoughts o f w hat yo u needed to do

    next, so you missed w hat the announcer had to say. Or maybe for

    those extra few minutes you stayed in bed after turning o ff the alarm

    you lay there physically resting but mentally running through your

    list o f responsibilities for the day. During these times we know that

    by procrastinating we are probably making it worse. That makes us

    anxious and also robs us of the desire to take action.

    ThezyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA number one reason that we procrastinate is BECAUSE W E

    C A N . The majo rity o f the time things still get done and no real

    consequence is suffered. We get away w ith it w hen we are students

    by cramming at the last minute. We get away w i th it as adults

    by changing our minds and deciding not to do the task after ali.

    We get away w ith it at w o rk w hen another member of the team

    gets w o rried and picks up the slack. We get away w ith it at home

    because we can w ork around chores that are not finished or count

    On someone else do ing them for us. We may suffer consequences,

    but they are usually no t substantial. We get a late fee on our credit

    card bill or on our rent for no t sending a payment in on time. So

    what? We pay it and manage w itho ut the extra money.

  • THE PROCRASTIN ATOR'5 GU IDE TO GETTIN G IHIN GS IHIN I zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA

    We live in a w o rld o f extra chances, lhe IRS w illzyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA givezyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA u s an extension w hen our taxes are not done on lime. There are grace periods that allow us to delay w itho ut penalty. II we lose an oppor-tunity , we can o ften find another one. We get warnings llial we are

    approaching a deadline. We get alerts w hen we are aboul lo run oul

    o f time, or power in our batteries, or minutes on our cell phones.

    For many everyday things we can afford to put things o ff a little,

    take our time, sit on it for a w hile, or sleep on it. Our modern w orld

    is fu l l o f opportunities to procrastinate.

    Ho w many times have you w aited u nti l the last minute but

    still gotten things done? Ho w many extensions have you needed?

    Ho w many apologies have you given for being late? Ho w many

    late fees have you paid? You are probably aware of the many tasks

    you have consciously avoided because yo u just d id nt feel like

    do ing them, but how many more do you think you unconsciously

    avoided? Consider ali these times w hen either no thing bad hap-

    pened or the consequence was small and not a big deal. You were

    able to get away w ith it.

    The big question is w hy we w o uld w ant to give it up. W hy do

    we feel guilty about it? W hy do we pledge time and time again to

    change our ways? The reason may be that procrastination works

    only in the short run. It provides only temporary relief. In the long

    run, it does not get us where we w ant to go. We feel angry at our-

    selves for it when we step back and see the stress that it causes and

    how it interferes w ith our lives. If we could ho ld on to the big picture

    and see clearly where we w ant to go in life, we w o uld choose no t to

    procrastinate