Thursday, 23 August 2007

How to Beat Procrastination 2

What follows is a technique that I have found very effective for overcoming procrastination. I have already discussed one technique that I apply in this post, however, I believe that goals should be attacked from all angles and therefore the more techniques there are to use the better.

Procrastination arises when you feel doing something will cause you more pain than not doing it. Eventhough you logically know you should do it, you will not follow through with it if you feel like it will cause you pain or struggle.

What you therefore need to do is start seeing the pleasure in that thing that you "have" to do to achieve your goals. This could apply to doing exercise, speed reading practise, making a difficult phone call, etc.

For example, when thinking about exercise most people see the pain of exerting themselves and getting out of the house. The people that enjoy exercising see it as an opportunity to challenge themselves, experience some endorphins, get some fresh air and give themselves more energy for the rest of the day.

It really does come down to how you look at it and believe you will experience it. The actual activity of "going for a run" is not what differs from person to person greatly. It is the perception of it that differs so much.

So how do you change how you look at a certain activity?

What I do first is consciously ask myself the question "where is the fun in this activity?" I ask myself this question in different ways until I come up with the answer. Once I have come up with this answer I make the picture of the fun part of the activity big and bright and really feel the experience. With enough practise this becomes very easy and now I no longer find myself struggling to follow through with these activities, because I want to do them anyway.

If having read this you are thinking "well that sounds like a great exercise, but I really can't be bothered" then ask yourself that question now about following through with this very exercise. Once you enjoy carrying out this exercise you can use it to begin finding the fun in everything else you "should" be doing, but do not really want to do.

If there were a set of key challenges to overcome on the road to success, beating procrastination would be one of them. Enjoy this exercise :)