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Some of us are more familiar with it than others, and it is certainly something we all wish we didn’t do. All of us procrastinate about certain things in our lives, and also resist procrastination in other areas. Do you tend to avoid doing things that are really important to you? Do you sometimes feel anxious or guilty because you just can’t bring yourself to do what you need or want to do? Is your habit of procrastinating driving your partner, family, friends or work colleagues crazy? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this handbook will help you. Procrastination is a learned habit, and one that we have to confront to control. Once we’ve become accustomed to procrastinating, it can take a surprisingly high toll on our lives; it can cause stress, illness, relationship and career problems and low self-esteem. But here’s the good news: because procrastination is a game – a mind game – you can use your mind to change the game. This handbook will show you how. While working through the ideas, you can use your discoveries as a guide implementing new actions, attitudes and ideas as you find them. They key ingredient necessary for this program to be successful for you is openness and honesty. You must be ‘open’ to work with your coach on these areas, and not ‘hold back’ your feelings or ideas. At all times through this program your coach will encourage and support you to make the necessary changes in yourself, so that you may experience a great deal more fulfillment and reward in your life.
A Definition ......................................................................................................2 The Real Danger..............................................................................................2 The Big List ......................................................................................................3 Types of Procrastinators ..................................................................................4 Fears Behind Procrastination...........................................................................6 Methods to Overcome Procrastination.............................................................8
A Definition Procrastination: To put off doing something. it can really start to lower their potential for success. The second way is through anxiety and worry.Dictionary. Most people who procrastinate suffer with anxiety about ‘not doing what they should’. especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. Perhaps you can think of several ways it has affected and sabotaged your life? . If a person continues to avoid doing something. The third way people sabotage themselves is through creating a poor reputation. . it reduces their chances of success in life. this can cause people to overlook us for promotions or important life roles. yet there is a serious side to being like this. they cause a break in their own integrity and congruency. When somebody doesn’t do the things they want or need to. Let’s look at some of the ways procrastinators sabotage their own success and happiness. To postpone or delay an action needlessly. There are many more subtle ways that procrastinators suffer because of their habits. They often suffer the dreaded ‘paralysis by analysis’ and lose sleep over their worry. we can develop a poor self-concept about ourselves. The fourth way is through low self-esteem. We all know people who are ‘not to be trusted’ with a task of importance. This eventually leads to us de-valuing ourselves and also lowering our expectations for success. This is often because they won’t take the action necessary to make some powerful changes happen. If we end up with a poor reputation. Much like gaining a bad reputation with others. Whether or not a person is conscious of this fact. The first way is through lack of success.com The Real Danger What are the real dangers of a being procrastinator? Many times we laugh about our poor organisation or avoidance of tasks.
Often just the writing of the list will give you some perspective and a sense of control. it’s time to get real about your situation. Think of everything and anything that needs to be… returned changed removed repaired cleaned altered replaced moved tossed out modified washed painted de-cluttered waxed put away organized converted taken out remodeled reorganized deleted finished purchased checked out This list can be reviewed and added to whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed. As a guide. make a list of all the things in your life that you’ve been meaning to do that you never got around to. The following exercise will help you face up to the areas that you may be avoiding necessary actions. Exercise: Over the next few days. . around your home and keep adding as many things as you can. Take the list with you to work.The Big List If you are in habit of procrastinating. Get into a habit of writing to do items on a list and keep the list where you can see it. use this list of actions to prompt you.
Often they go walking. They may also feel the need to make a big move and relocate themselves to other cities or countries in order to ‘make the changes’ that they can’t seem to make where they are. walking around from office to office. obtained more information. etc. . ’Perfect Preparers’ These people decide that they simply cannot work on something until they have done more research. They straighten and organize and rearrange and dust and throw away and vacuum and file until it’s too late. They are always serious about starting. ‘Straighteners’ Straighteners are those who feel that quality work cannot be done in messy work conditions. saying hello and ‘catching up’ with people.Types of Procrastinators Procrastination is not something we practice by itself. At work. driving or searching for something (anything) that will give them reason not to do what they know they should. ‘Socialisers’ For these people. attended more seminars. Often when they do this. They will always be on the phone or sending SMS messages to people instead of actually doing work. the mere thought of doing a task reminds them to telephone long lost family members. socialisers will tend to be the ones sending group emails. they end up finding the same challenges at the other end. but never get properly prepared. ‘Travelers’ This type of person will go any distance just to avoid the task at hand. have a big conversation with their spouse or email their friends. Then we can begin to notice them in our own lives. and eventually move past them. They become so good at this that they can actually spend years preparing to start a project. read more books. We usually use a form (or multiple forms) of behaviour to stop us doing what we know we should. desk to desk. The key to eliminating procrastination is to start recognizing our favourite methods.
Exercise: Try to find two forms of behaviour that you may use from the list above. but still it is a powerful form of procrastination. They always say they will do something. The rebel may not even realize that they are doing this. You learn not to depend on these people to be punctual and may find yourself letting them off the hook often for things not done.‘Drifters’ This is also known as living unconsciously. but then often forget to. Think about a few examples in your life where you have had experiences with people that sound familiar to these stories. or purposely avoid doing it – hence annoying the person in the process. ‘Happy Helpers’ These people practice the most subtle style of procrastinating. Happy helpers also find it difficult to say no to people once they are used to being so helpful and resourceful. This type of person can sometimes be this way naturally or can learn to be this way through constantly avoiding their responsibilities. as these people literally live half their life in a daze. This type of procrastination is easy to defend because you are doing something worthwhile. They put aside work they should do – but don’t really want to – to help other people solve their problems or challenges. If you can’t find your method. try to find the closest to what you may tend to do. Have a think about the ways they may be holding you back and how you could start to reduce them. Either way. They aren’t sure where their day goes and often lose track of time. ‘Rebels’ Often people who feel powerless or inadequate can tend to use procrastination as a form of ‘quiet rebellion’ against others. this habit can be overcome with desire and self-discipline. and therefore it’s not easy to give up. .
In reality there is very rarely the ‘perfect’ time or way to do something. Some of us become more attached to perfection than others. This fear can develop because we feel that completing certain tasks will require us to keep the same standard the rest of our lives. sports and social situations. When we face a situation where the outcome is not guaranteed. We are nervous to make choices in our lives because we do not feel confident about our ability to do so.Fears Behind Procrastination Fear is the number one reason we procrastinate and avoid action. People may often sabotage their own success just so they don’t have to ‘stand out’ from the crowd. and we are better to simply accept some imperfections. postpone and to think negatively about the outcome can actually cause the awful. As peculiar as this fear sounds. Often this a common fear in public careers. The second is fear of imperfection. Thinking of a negative outcome is just as realistic as choosing a positive one. like the fear of success is that it can stop us from achieving our goals in life. we stall for fear of the worst. embarrassing experience we were dreading. The sixth is the fear of living up to higher standards. The fourth is fear of making mistakes. Often we can avoid an action or decision because we feel unsure about our options. and get trapped by the ideal. Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of looking like a fool at some time in their life. When we fear success. but are often the key reason why we procrastinate. . Sometimes this is because of dual opportunities. though the emotional pressure is much worse. Often this tendency to avoid. They are not matched specifically to any form of behaviour. People will always seek the most expedient way to live. it is a very real cause of misery and frustration for many. so they often fear being stuck as a role model or good example. Nobody has everything figured out. but often it is caused by lack of selfacceptance. We worry that something will work out badly and imagine a terrible outcome. The first is fear of making the wrong choice. This can also be called the fear of failure. then we will avoid actions that could potentially cause them. The third is fear of the unknown. A lot of people suffer this fear deep down and don’t realize it until they start suffering the symptoms. There are ten main fears behind procrastination. so mistakes are a natural part of being human. we actually fear the attention and ‘respect’ that success brings. We all have areas of life where we like everything perfect. we all still have this trait. If we fear making mistakes. The danger of this fear. many people. This fear plays on our tendency to think negatively. Even if it is a ‘perfect mess’. The fifth is fear of success.
This one is often linked to both the fear of change and the fear of imperfection. If we are serious about something in our lives. this can become a way of life. sometimes crushing experience. which their behaviours (both positive and negative) keep reinforcing. we must often bite the bullet and just complete whatever we are avoiding. When we say that we fear change. Everyone is changing all the time. Think about a few examples in your life where you have had ‘scary’ experiences with that sound familiar to these examples. if we are serious about moving ahead in our lives. To overcome fear of change we must often risk our sense of comfort. ignored or passed up. The tenth fear is the fear of rejection. As each of us develops into an adult we will go through a stage of wanting to be ‘free and easy’. This fear is often the deeper source of the fear of change. Nobody likes to be told ‘no’ or to be ridiculed. Exercise: Try to find two or more of fears that you may experience from the list above. To confront this fear. the fear of making mistakes and the fear of success. . If you can’t find your particular fears. rather just accept that life requires a certain degree of consistency. yet one we all have experienced in our lives. We start to fear the real responsibilities and commitments that success requires. The ninth fear is the fear of finishing. We can spend too long on the details of something because we honestly don’t want to confront life without it. it is because we’re confused about the meaning of it. The eighth is fear of too much responsibility. whether we realise it or not it is a natural state of being. Have a think about the ways they may be holding you back and how you could start to confront and remove them. This is very true in long drawn out relationships and business deals. we actually fear losing our comfort level that we’ve work hard to create. It is an awful. we eventually have to risk (and often experience) rejection in our lives. Often people develop a solid comfort zone. To minimise the amount of exposure we have to rejection we can create behaviours such as procrastination to create ‘padding’. When we fear ‘getting serious’ about our lives. While this okay in small doses. we have to work through the new stage until we create a better quality comfort zone. try to find the closest ones to what you may experience. To be committed and responsible doesn’t mean that you must forsake all fun and freedom.The seventh is fear of change. Often if we are not careful.
old hobbies. it seems that new opportunities. activities. Setting a goal is integral to making a real. If you are struggling with deciding what you want. Whenever you remove a block or ‘mess’ from your life. we will have a huge advantage over those who don’t. people and ideas start to flow to you. Plan your day & week on paper A great deal of life is wasted through poor planning. Clutter is not just physical mess. If you feel like you have no time to do anything. Also setting time limits for tasks is a great way to increase efficiency. Always try to do the most important tasks first. and experience it for yourself. you can work with your coach to set some real goals and start the process. and then wonder why they don’t achieve anything of real importance in their lives. or a calendar to set our your appointments. as well as weekly and daily to do lists to keep you on track. then perhaps you are also living with too much clutter in your life. etc One of the most powerful principles of attraction is that of creating space for new things.Methods to Overcome Procrastination Set goals first Often the simplest way to remove procrastination is through clear thinking. Making clear decisions about the actions to take is one of the best ways to get and stay on track. If we spend as little as 10 minutes each day planning our activities and deciding what’s most important (and what’s not). lasting change in your life. Try out this idea with one area of your life where you feel blocked. and spend some time reviewing your progress often. . Remove clutter from your life It’s a strange phenomenon that our physical environment affects our emotions. but anything that jams up your life. You can use your diary. Almost 97% of people neglect to set goals in their lives. If you find you need more time you can either reset your alarm or reschedule the task. Set an alarm before starting a task so that you know when your time limit is over. relationships. And the best way to know what decisions to make is to always base them on your goals. The more clear and concise your goals become the more empowered you become to achieve them. such as responsibilities.
If you are aware if this principle. and get their feedback on the best ways to approach it. or a friend on a project and reporting back on the progress will often give you the extra push you need to make changes. and for some people a few years. and not worth the effort. and then hardly any is used for the rest of the orbit. Sometimes this is also called ‘outsourcing’ and it can be a powerful technique. it makes it much easier to keep going in the tough early stages. The momentum principle works on the fact that it takes almost 80% of your effort to get started and only 20% to keep going after you’ve begun. Working with your coach. It is exactly like a rocket launch. The Momentum Principle Momentum is the opposite of procrastination. Often it can last for up to a few months. Have a think about the ways that you could implement it into your life this week. you can share the idea with your coach. where the majority of fuel is burned up in the liftoff stage. it can feel exhausting. But if you are willing to keep ‘burning’ you will soon find that the momentum principle kicks in and reach a state of flow (or orbit). When you are changing your life and moving on. and organize a time to get started. . Exercise: Select a method from the list above. It is a state of action and ‘flow’ that we have all experienced at one time or another. If necessary.Use Accountability Sometimes the only way to start overcoming procrastination is to create some accountability outside your own life. where everything works with minimal effort.
career success. Ireland. United Kingdom. United States. Daniel lives and works from his hometown of Sydney. Change somebody else’s life today! . If you believe that you could use the assistance of someone to help you move ahead in your life. They include CEO’s. professionals and students.About the Author Daniel Midson-Short is a professionally trained and accredited business. business success and many other areas of your life. relationships. personal and career coach. Canada. personal and business coaching is a powerful way to transform your career. If you believe somebody could benefit from reading this book. Thanks for Reading! Often the power of an idea is enough to change a person’s life. and is one of the most successful young coaches working today. His clients come from Australia. He works with people all over the world to improve their relationships.au About Coaching Career. managers. South Africa and Israel. He is the founder of Lifestyle Revolution. business owners. please feel free to send it to them via email or in printed format. confidence. New Zealand. Managing Directors. self-esteem. self-confidence and everything in between. then please contact us or you can visit our website for more information. Australia. salespeople. To contact Daniel: Daniel Midson-Short PO Box 209 Kenthurst NSW 2156 Australia Phone + 61 2 9654 9785 firstname.lastname@example.org. employees.
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