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Dedicated to

:
My two anti-procrastination role models
The first person to whom I dedicate this book is my father Gaetano Mifsud.
An ex-procrastinator and ex-nicotine addict who went through the changes necessary to become and stay
free of those two forms of slavery.

Dad, I thank you for taking the courage to embrace positive change, for having travelled the journey from
procrastinator to Pro-Completer before me, for being my teacher and role model of integrity and for the love
and lessons you still share with me, your son.

I also dedicate this book to my friend Jason Grima who was the first and the main non-procrastinator that I
studied. Jason remains to this day my TOP anti-procrastination role model.

Thanks for choosing me to be your motivation coach when you didn’t need one, I hope we keep learning the
art of success from each other and may the success I’ve seen you achieve, from zero, keep growing and af-
firming how powerful you are. I know the best is still yet to come!

And also to:
My first reader and now great friend
Ludwig Brincat! May you stay on the road to success and accomplish great things in life!

Aims of this book
1) To encourage, challenge and provide the reader with the information and tools to make the elimination of
procrastinating behaviour easier, quicker and permanent.
2) To eventually bring TOTAL recovery from such behaviour within the realm of possibility.

Disclaimer: No information or exercise in this book is to be considered as personal advice by medical, nutritional, psy-
chological, psychiatric, or any form of advice from a certified professional or substitute thereof. No information or ex-
ercise in this book is to be considered as substitute of any support or support group for overcoming addictions or any
other problem. Where in doubt, or if you are under the attention of medical, nutritional, psychiatric or any kind of
professional it is the reader’s sole responsibility to make sure that any advice mentioned or implied in this book is ap-
propriate for the individual with the help of any relevant assistant.

The correct and ethical use of the information contained in this book is the sole responsibility of the reader and the
author cannot be made liable for any misuse of the information contained herein.

In order to keep clarity, the male pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ are used throughout the book to imply both genders unless
otherwise specified.

Copyright Mark Mifsud 2008-2009

www.UltimateProcrastinationCure.com
CONTENTS
Part 1 – Your Turning Point
Introduction - My Promise 6
Chapter 1 - Hello and Welcome 8
Chapter 2 - Milestones 13
Chapter 3 - Requirements 18
Chapter 4 - A Procrastinator's Mind 23

Part 2—Exposing the Causes
Chapter 5 - Exposing ‘Lack of Clarity’ 38
Chapter 6 - The fence that stops you 41
Chapter 7 - Exposing Beliefs 49
Chapter 8 - Exposing Values 51
Chapter 9 - Mental Organisation of Information 57
Chapter 10 - Exposing your Mind(s) 66
Chapter 11 - Exposing Habits 72

Part 3— Making Quick, Deeper and Lasting Change
Chapter 12 - Inventory 82
Chapter 13 - Language, visualisation, affirmations and Goal Setting 93
Chapter 14 - Decisions 99
Chapter 15 - Gaining Clarity 105
Chapter 16 - Energy 111
Chapter 17 - Flowing with the work 118
Chapter 18 - Relating with Time 124
Chapter 19 - Convictions and Beliefs 132
Chapter 20 - Managing Values and Motivators 138
Chapter 21 - Emotional and Mental States 143
Chapter 22 - Managing Strategies 161
Chapter 23 - The Pro-Completion System 168
Chapter 24 - Map of the Journey 174
Chapter 25 - Conditioning 182
Chapter 26 - Conclusion 188
Appendix 190
Bibliography 195

www.UltimateProcrastinationCure.com
What others have said about the first edition of this book
I use the tools you gave with the book and I
am amazed at how good they are at getting
me unstuck. I get unstuck when I use
them, and stay stuck when I don’t! The
‘clarity sheet’ has helped me to plan my
work without losing focus many times now.
It is a life saver for me.
I managed to turn the decision step of the pro-
completion system into a habit by designing a strategy
and adopting it. It worked exactly as you said. Instead
of procrastinating I now have a choice. I am choosing
to act more often just because it makes me feel better.

I’m still very amazed how an exercise that took me less
than what?! 30 minutes? Has helped me to totally
change a habit in days and with so little effort. I feel
certain this is a turning point in my life and I’m very
excited at what has become possible from now on.
The Motivation Exercise… has to be worth
the price of the book all by itself and more.

I have no words to describe the encouragement your
book has given me as well as the emotional freedom I
found.
I liked reading it and I can confirm that it
works, which is more important.

This is the best book about self discovery and behav-
ioural change I have read in the last 10 years or so.

I feel like I changed more into the person I
always knew I was.

You took this subject from the human perspective and
actually told me how my mind was causing my bad be-
haviour and ways to change it.
In the last 3 weeks I've done more stuff
than I have ever done in a single year and
can't remember procrastinating EVEN
ONCE.
The day I did the exercise to raise motivation definitely
goes down as the happiest day of my life ever. Just
when I would think that I could not contain more moti-
vation inside me the exercise kept pumping me even
more.
You certainly exceeded my expectations
with your Ultimate Procrastination Cure, it
lives up to its name unlike a lot of other
stuff out there.
What others have said about the first edition of this book

The best thing about the Ultimate Procrastination
Cure is that it doesn't just tell me what to do and
what to believe. It tells me how to build a habit and
develop any belief I choose to.

Other books may give a list of good principles, this
book got me to really make them a part of me.

Mark, your book, Ultimate Procrastination
Cure, is the best book I ever read on the sub-
ject. I was an awful procrastinator before
reading it and now my hopes are high. I am
learning to pay the emotional price every time
there's work to be done and I am committed to
become a Power Completer with this knowl-
edge.
Your exercises on beliefs and values took me quite
some time but helped me to pinpoint many causes of
procrastination spot on. I was impatient to learn to
correct them.

You hit a huge number of nails on their heads
in here! I took notes of every one of them and
I’m still finding others as I read trough your
book again.

I made the money I invested in your book many times
over and I am going to increase it because I have
found the motivation to target small businesses in my
area and there is no way I will not succeed.

I never knew changing habits was this easy and I feel
like you have given me a power few others ever en-
joy.

The guilt feelings that haunted me at night are now
gone and I am not afraid of increasing my workload.

A day doesn't go by without me using at least
one of the techniques you taught me and I
keep your preparation sheets always handy.

I highly recommend your book!

www.UltimateProcrastinationCure.com
Introduction

Part 1 – Your Turning Point
Introduction – My Promise
When I wrote the first edition of ‘The Ultimate Procrastination Cure’ I decided to give it a title that seemed to
be making a promise. It was intentional!

I have always believed that promises are to be made only, when one can deliver on them and once they are
made, they are to be kept. I knew I could deliver and was hoping to deliver as best I could, which, at the
time, I did. At first, I did not know how to put all the material I knew in the form of a book. It was my desire
to develop a friendly guide while the final product resembled a map that had to be deciphered.

However, once the first edition was completed I started immediately to see how I could improve it. I asked
readers to give me feedback. To my joy some of them were sharing stories of success so, I knew I had done
something right, but I also knew this could be much better.

In order to deliver even better on that initial promise, I gave the book a facelift. Although it contains the
same powerful knowledge, inspiring messages and even more, it is now organized in a manner that is
friendly enough to guide the hardened procrastinator much better. I am much happier with the present or-
der now.

Every writer of self-help books has a hidden desire to write a book that transforms people simply by having
them read through it, without them having to do any other effort to apply the knowledge. Unfortunately
that is not possible but I am fairly sure that I have arrived closer to this magical touch than before.

I once read a book that had a daring title just like this one. It was called ‘Awaken The Giant Within’ by Tony
Robbins who also authored a book with another daring title ‘Unlimited Power’. Back on that summer day in
1999, while I was staring at books with titles that made such claims; little did I imagine that I would be enti-
tling a book with a name that is similarly preposterous. I was battling my own procrastination. Could this
author really give the reader Unlimited Power and Awakened Giants through a book?

I believe that Tony Robbins was making a promise to me back in 1999; “as long as you follow my advice, I
promise that your giant will be awakened”. I was quick to realize that the chances of that giant being awak-
ened would be much higher for the readers who were not procrastinators. Reading an advice is one thing,
following it is quite another. Making it a lifestyle is yet something else!

Today I am in the position of the author speaking to you… The Ultimate Procrastination Cure is a promise I
am making to you! I was exactly in your position and have now overcome the hardest enemy, myself.

Am I promising that you will definitely beat procrastination with this book? Follow its advice, do the exer-
cises and yes, you will not find a better cure for procrastination, at least not before I write a third edition
should the need arise! I would dare to say that if the material in this guide does not eventually lead you to
become a task completer, nothing else ever will. You just have to apply it.

But why does this book work better? Because of the approach! This is a book that will allow you to change
from the inside out.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 6
Introduction

Although there are some suggestions on how to treat the tasks you must complete, the most important dif-
ference is that I tell you how to quickly change the way your mind works. Here we treat the causes not the
symptoms, and these are in the procrastinator’s mind.

Procrastinators who want to change are quite tired of books that suggest that we are to visualize success,
break the task in parts, start with the hardest task and reward ourselves. While these cliché ideas are good
suggestions, they help to side step the problem, not correct it. If the mind remains untrained, such advice
will have temporary benefits but will ultimately be counterproductive. Many tried these over and over but
remained the same old procrastinators because no internal change took place.

The difference in approach can be compared with supplying water to a household. Instead of supplying wa-
ter, we are supplying motivation. One person may like to walk seven miles every day, to the nearest river
and back, with buckets in his hand. He would have supplied the water. However, I decided that as we walk
that road we should be carrying pipes and eventually build a pipeline that would supply the fresh water con-
stantly, easily and in abundance.

So while we follow the advice to make tasks easier to do, we will also be applying changes to the mind to
make it more capable of approaching, starting, doing and finish tasks.

That is my goal with this book. I want to link you to your nearest supply of fresh motivation and tell you how
that pipeline is built. If you make mistakes as you go along, it is not a problem, just learn from them and cor-
rect your approach. Just like I did with the first edition of this book, you do not have to do it perfectly the
first time, just start somewhere and improve at your first chance.

Do not settle for techniques when you can have change. It is like settling for buckets; someday you could
end up dying of dehydration on the road! Welcome positive change and enjoy the easy flow of motivation it
brings. Eventually, migrate to a permanent mansion just by that river. An elite class of task completing
birds, flock together on those banks. It is a river of powerful, always fresh motivation and confidence.

Let us get moving, a better life and a better you are waiting!

Mark Mifsud

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Regarding all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills count-
less ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself Providence moves too. All
things occur to one that would never otherwise have occurred. A stream of events issue from the decision
raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meeting and material assistance which no man
could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can begin it!
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, begin it now!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 7
Chapter 1—Hello and Welcome

Chapter 1 – Hello and Welcome

A warm welcome to ‘The Ultimate Procrastination Cure’! This course, in the form of a book, is designed to
help you learn to overcome procrastination in a definitive manner, yet with this knowledge you can go be-
yond that. You can become the person you want to be because it will teach you to change anything about
yourself and become capable of overcoming any personal limit. My intention, in writing this book, was not
only to provide the readers with the means of completing a task or two, but I also wanted to go beyond the
tasks and cater for the human person who is to do the tasks. That brings us to the first point already.

In this book we focus on personal development, not on task management. On the doer, not the task!
On getting a tidy mind, not a tidy desk!

Changing from procrastinator to recovering procrastinator, then to doer and then to a Power Completer is
indeed a process that can be compared to an adventurous journey. This book is a guide to make that proc-
ess easier and quicker. The journey has shortcuts, points where one may get lost, inevitable milestones and
dragons that have to be slain on the way. Wherever you stand, I want you to have a guide to lead you to be-
come a Powerful Completer of tasks.

How to use this book successfully
This is an activity based course; therefore, you will have exercises to do. This course will not work unless you
work it. Do not worry, the exercises are interesting, mostly fun and you may even take them as games. Pens
and papers are also recommended in case you notice, or come up with an insight that strikes you; in which
case you may want to take a note of it. So get a number of pens, pencils and papers (or a computer) to help
you out. When required, set time to do the exercises in a place where you are least likely to be disturbed.

Get these tools NOW before reading the next point!

I said, get pens and paper (or open a computer document), it’s not as if this book is going to escape… go get
them now!

Well done! Because reading will not be enough, you need to check out your attitude before every exercise.
You will have a choice to make:
You can either skip the exercise to see what comes next (and remain a filthy procrastinator)
Or do the exercise mentally in order to feel less guilty about not having done it (and become an
even filthier procrastinator with a delusion that work is being done)
Or remember that a rewarding life is at stake here and do the exercises to the best of your ability
no matter how much time they will take and no matter what you have to give up in order to
complete them.

Out of those options only the third choice will PREPARE you for eventual procrastination attacks that will
come in the future. Exercising that attitude will give you the tools, mind frame and full understanding of a
pro-completer (one who starts and finishes tasks without delay).

In fact part of the first exercise will involve these three attitudes.

That attitude found in choice number 3 is the foundation of the ‘ultimate procrastination cure’. The exer-
cises will strengthen that very foundation. What you will build on it in this course will be a System that will
eventually be keeping that attitude for you alive and kicking!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 8
Chapter 1—Hello and Welcome

Whenever the other two bad attitudes start talking to you in order to sabotage your efforts, do not argue
with them, just tell them to shut up (I would like to avoid foul language in this course but feel free to use
whatever strong language you want in order to send them to *wherever* or to shut the *whatever* up).
There’s no room for procrastination attitudes here!

Personally, I like to create a multitude of different voices in my imagination, from Abba to Ziggy Marley, all
ordering them repeatedly to shut up in every tone, loudness, manner, language and from every direction
(yes I use naughty words too to add more power). The point in this exercise is to occupy the mind with so
many orders telling it to shut up that you leave no room for negative self talk to occur.

Rebuke the two bad attitudes until you feel better about doing the exercises or at least nearer to neutral
zone. If you want to really challenge them then, do the exercises and shove every complete exercise in their
face…telling them, “See I did it”.

Why not try it now? Go get those pens and papers (or computer) you still need to get while practicing your
shut up phrase.

That’s awesome fun isn’t it? Now let us go on!

Making this course fun
This is not a course to become a lawyer, so make it fun.

Fun is important because it helps learning and should not be separate from learning at all. So take this
with a light heart. It is ok to experiment, in fact you will benefit from making messes as you go along. The
exercises are much simpler than they look so here are some hints.

First, you do not have to do the exercises perfectly, especially the first time. The first time you just have to
do them in order to get the idea. Do not put un-necessary pressure on yourself when you do not need to,
take them with an easy attitude. Even though the exercises are many and some of them will consume time,
their ultimate aim is to allow you to become effective, efficient, successful and therefore happier. Therefore
inject some happiness in this material as you go.

Also, if any exercise is giving you a hard time; pause for a few minutes and try it again with less effort. Most
exercises will involve using your imagination, do not force it, your imagination is good as it is. If I tell you to
imagine a car you do not have to hallucinate a car in full cinematic quality; it just means you have to think of
a car just like when you normally think of a car, only with a bit more attention to that car you are thinking of.

These exercises are not like some odd meditation exercise you have to struggle to get right, they are as
straight forward as they can be. There is a little adaptation curve if this is all new to you but there is a quick
way to make it simpler.

When you want to get it right, pretend you are getting it right and most of the time you will start getting it
right.

Do not let the simplicity fool you into believing that the techniques are not effective. Complexity in fact, is
the enemy of effectiveness. Another hint is to have a positive focus. Some exercises will help you discover A
LOT of procrastination causes all at once and it is normal to realise that you are more screwed up than you
thought. It happened to me, to many with whom I did these exercises and it is to be expected. However,
some take this discovery as bad news while others are excited and relieved because they now, finally know
what to correct. It is up to you!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 9
Chapter 1—Hello and Welcome

As with any learning process, focus on the fact that you are learning, not that you do not know. Have fun,
even if the subject of procrastination is touchy. Sure, we are dealing with a problem, but I wrote this for you
because I am focused on the solutions and that is what you need to focus on too. The Mind and how it
works, is a truly interesting subject, it is what we are and I hope, I can attach some of my enthusiasm for this
subject on you. The Mind is what makes us what we are, it is a powerful thing indeed, and here you are
learning to properly unleash its power to serve you, instead of stopping you.

So have fun, keep it simple and you will be a master at this before you know it. When procrastination and
the cure to its causes are understood, overcoming them becomes a fun challenge rather than a frustrating
chore.

The points to be understood in order to make sense of all this material
To understand this material there are a number of things we need to agree on and other things to under-
stand and keep in mind. Which are…
Our broad definition of ‘procrastination’ is: The un-necessary delaying of important tasks or meaningful actions
that can be done.

The opposite of Procrastination (as used in this course) is Pro-Completion; defined as: Doing whatever it takes to
get tasks completed (and that includes starting them too) quicker and better.

Procrastination is a defensive response to some kind of fear, irrational belief, value or anything else.
It is a symptom rather than a cause.

The more we reduce or control the actual causes the more we reduce procrastination; and when we reduce pro-
crastination we get more rewards (why else would we reduce it?)

When we realize there are rewards to be gained we encourage Pro-Completion, so the more we focus on the re-
wards, the more we encourage Pro-Completion even further.

Pro-Completers have not only a mental attitude, but also use a System to maintain it! Every Pro-Completer that is
successful in the world, consciously or unknowingly uses this System or variations of it.

Therefore we are here to learn and practice a System that:
1. Allows us to reduce (or even eliminate) the causes while focusing on the rewards, thus we eventually be-
come Pro-Completers by using the system.
2. Gives us feedback on what parts of our mental attitude is not in line with Pro-Completion so that we can use
the various solutions in this book to correct them.

In Summary
This book is a course about:
Learning to change and grow into a better person.
Learning and using a System in preparation for any kind of future attack by procrastination (or rather its causes).

We do this just like a martial artist who practices his art to be healthy. However, martial art is not like any other sport,
the practitioner learns to defend himself against attacks in preparation for any attacks that may come in the future.
This will make sure that he remains healthy when situations get hostile.

The same principle applies here. We learn mind-management so that our relationship with the tasks we have to do is
healthy. In the meantime, we prepare for any hostile attack by procrastination causes. Every task you will be required
to do from now on, should be taken as an opportunity to improve on your pro-completion skills. Your training will not
stop after you complete this book but will be there with each task you do in the real world. Tasks will help you to
keep improving your ability to Pro-Complete on an ongoing basis.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 10
Chapter 1—Hello and Welcome

The definition of Procrastination in More Detail
Our broad definition of ‘procrastination’ is: The un-necessary delaying of important tasks or meaningful ac-
tions that can be done.

This means that we are not concerned with what some people term as positive procrastination, which is ei-
ther the delaying of BAD actions, or taking a break to let the mind clear itself so that it can think and learn
better. We call those productive breaks, which we will cover, but never in our right mind would define as
procrastination.
As far as we are concerned
we are dealing with delaying that is un-necessary; therefore cannot be positive
we are referring to important tasks and meaningful actions; delaying these is neve
positive
we are referring to tasks that CAN be done

Un-necessary delaying
There is delaying of tasks that is necessary or recommended. An example can be waiting for medication or
anaesthetics to take effect before committing a patient to surgery.

Whenever waiting is not of prime necessity (as in the case above) then there is really no point in waiting.

Important tasks and meaningful actions
There is a distinction between these two. Important tasks are those which, if not done, there is an evident
cost to pay and usually such tasks are expected of you. Examples may include fixing your plumbing, calling a
client or submitting a report at work.

Something meaningful is something you usually do not have any pressure to do and will not really affect your
life if delayed. Yet, there is a benefit, which usually people ignore, in doing it, and that is what ultimately
makes it meaningful. Examples of such a task could be tidying your garage or contribute to a charitable
cause. In every culture and tradition, people who perform meaningful tasks, even if not pressured, are al-
ways highly valued and respected.

Tasks that can be done
If a task cannot be done, delaying it is inevitable and therefore, that is not defined as procrastination. How-
ever, we need to be cautious regarding this aspect.

If a task, say writing a business plan, cannot be done because the computer is not working properly or be-
cause there is need of more information in order to write it up then, the task we are delaying is typing it out.
However, the steps to have repairs done can be taken and the steps to do the research can be taken as well.
When the computer is not available, paper can be used to prepare or we can borrow or even rent a laptop.
This brings us to a point.

If a task cannot be done, there is still no excuse for doing nothing. Unfortunately, many people, take every
opportunity to make excuses. We must be very wary of these instances.

Our motto should be: If I am not prepared for a task, I PREPARE and if I am not ready to take an action, I
GET READY. Does this make sense?

Another issue that may make us unable to act is sickness or injury. Again, there are times when we should
just rest but there are other times when we can still work. I am not advocating going to a meeting while hav-
ing a high fever and your mind is totally delirious although, I have known people who do it. I am simply stat-

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 11
Chapter 1—Hello and Welcome

ing that, while lack of health can be a good reason to just rest, it should not be turned into an excuse to pro-
crastinate on things that you still can perform. Many successful inventors will tell you that their most inno-
vative ideas came while scribbling in bed when sick.

And by the way
Learn this material, do these exercises and you WILL eliminate procrastination from your life. Not only will
you be free from procrastination, you will replace it with enthusiasm, courage, effectiveness and the success
and satisfaction that these qualities bring. No matter how long will it take, enjoy your positive learning!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 12
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Chapter 2 – Milestones
In this chapter, we are going to see what awaits us in each part of this book. This will allow you to get a
bird’s eye view of all we are going to cover and how we are going to approach it.

Chapter 3 – Requirements
In this short chapter you will find recommendations that will make the study and exercise from this manual a
more enjoyable and productive experience. These suggestions are also helpful in virtually all activities you
may ever undertake.

You will also do your first exercise in this book which will help you to get motivated to read the entire course,
do the exercises and apply the lessons you learn in your life.

Chapter 4 – A Procrastinator’s Mind
Here we do take an initial, less technical look at procrastination and its opposite, pro-completion. We will
see how they occur in a nutshell, and use some metaphors to describe them. This chapter sets the tone for
what comes after.

With the end of chapter 4, your introduction into the revolution against procrastination comes to an end. It
is time to become and active member.

Part 2 – Exposing Causes
Part 2 starts with chapter 5 and ends with chapter 11. These chapters go into deeper detail at explaining
how your mind works and expose causes of procrastination that may be affecting you. The exercises pro-
vided have the purpose of either explaining the workings of your mind or exposing potential causes of self
sabotage.

Part 2 is all about exposing causes, so that you can later correct them.

Chapter 5 – Exposing ‘Lack of Clarity’
The first cause of procrastination, is not having a clear idea of the situation you are in. Here we explore dif-
ferent kinds of clarity, each of which may be the cause of procrastination.

This chapter also recommends that you understand clearly how your procrastination and motivation occur,
which will lead you to…

Chapter 6 – The fence that stops you
Here you will make sense of some procrastination causes that may even play havoc when you are about to
do the exercises in this book. It also gives you important guidelines on how to start discovering causes of
procrastination and potential solutions to them by using your own mind to get the answers.

Chapter 7 – Exposing Beliefs
What you believe affects how you see the world and its inhabitants, how you feel, what you do and there-
fore your destiny. There are beliefs that empower you and others that limit you. Here you will learn how to
discover beliefs and check if they limit you or empower you. The more limiting beliefs you find, the more
you will have to change.

Luckily this means that the more empowering beliefs you adopt the more benefit you will get from this man-
ual, and that is only the start!

Chapter 8 – Exposing Values

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 13
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Here you will discover what is truly dear to you and which experiences you would rather avoid. Your values
are the experiences you value and these determine your motivation and on what you spend most of your
time each day.

Chapter 9 – Mental Organisation of Information
The way you organise information in your mind greatly influences your beliefs, values, feelings, moods, men-
tal states and eventually your actions.

This chapter teaches about some causes of procrastination but the information found here is also the source
from where most of the solutions come from. Learn to love this chapter; this is where your personal trans-
formation will be taking a boost even if you will not be noticing it right away.

Chapter 10 – Exposing your Mind(s)
In this short chapter you will learn why you have internal conflicts. You will learn why there are instances
where you would like to do something but, at the same time, you would rather delay it and do something
else. In its brevity, this is a highly educational chapter, where common procrastination causes are under-
stood.

Chapter 11 – Exposing Habits
Here we get a bit more technical. Your habits and a lot of behaviour that you do on automatic have more
effect on your actions and destiny than almost anything. You will learn how to look at you actions in a way
that will later make it possible for you to change them. This chapter requires that you understand most of
the material in chapter 9.

Now that a lot of procrastination causes have been discovered and understood it is time to be more positive.
They can be changed and reprogrammed. You know the enemy, now its time to get in the battlefield.

Part 3 – Making Quick, Deeper and Lasting Change
Part 3 includes all chapters from 12 to 21. These chapters are dedicated to learning how to make changes to
the causes of procrastination you have discovered or will discoverer in the future.

One thing you will love in this part is that a quick procrastination cure will occasionally be introduced. While
each of these cures can help you throughout life, they are also useful to completing the exercises in this
book. To complete the exercises you will have to exert some effort initially, however it will definitely be
much easier with each helpful quick cure you find.

Chapter 12 – Inventory
If you are to make changes, you need to prepare the tools and get an idea of how to use them. This chapter
is dedicated to these tools and techniques. It will also teach you how to interrupt your procrastination be-
haviour and a handful of quick procrastination cures.

This chapter requires that you have understood well chapter 9.

Chapter 13 - Language, visualisation, affirmations and Goal Setting
As extension of the previous chapter, this light hearted chapter teaches you how to use your language, and
other common self-help tools to improve the way you think. You will also learn how to use affirmations and
goal setting in ways that actually work.

You will also learn a visualisation exercise that, coupled with proper goal setting, programs your brain to
reach any goal on autopilot.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 14
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Chapter 14 – Decisions
An entire book can be written on Decision Making and in fact there are many such books. Learning to take a
decision to act is the first essential step to carry out a task, instead of delaying it. Taken properly, a decision
will motivate you to see your projects through.

In this chapter you will learn what is really meant by taking decisions and also learn a definite, exact strategy
to take decisions for the purpose of avoiding procrastination.

Chapter 15 – Gaining Clarity
In this short chapter you will learn a definite strategy that will help you to gain the required clarity to avoid
procrastination. Gaining Clarity about a task, subject or situation is not only critical for motivation, it is in it-
self a task which is often necessary to start, do and complete tasks.

Chapter 16 – Energy
What would you do if you are low on energy? This is indeed a cause of delayed task tackling when there is
no need for it to be. This chapter will tell you the simple secrets of maintaining a high energy level for body
and mind.

Chapter 17 – Flowing with the work
One of the most pleasant experiences you can enjoy is when your work is flowing with so much ease and joy;
that tasks which would usually take you many hours, are done in mere minutes. This mental state is called
‘the flow state’ and this short chapter tells you the secret on how to achieve it.

Chapter 18 – Relating With Time
Procrastinators, by definition have a bad relationship with one of the most precious and most limited re-
sources of all: TIME! This chapter gives you a new perspective on time and its value. If you would like to find
a balance between time to work and time for pleasure this chapter’s conclusion has a pleasant surprise for
you. You may well have plenty of both at the same ‘time’ if you follow a few simple principles!

Chapter 19 – Convictions and Beliefs
You discovered your limiting beliefs in Chapter 7. Now it is time to eliminate the beliefs that limit you and
adopt the beliefs that make you a pro-completer.

This chapter tells you how to change beliefs quickly and easily, not just for the purpose of working through
this book, but for any purpose you may want in life.

Chapter 20 – Managing Values and Motivators
You discovered your Values and Motivators in Chapter 8. Now it is time to learn how to easily and quickly
allying them with the tasks you have to do and the outcomes you would like to achieve.

There is my favourite Quick Procrastination Cure in this chapter too, but do not take a peak at it yet!

Chapter 21 – Emotional and Mental States
Feelings, moods, mental states; if only you could control them! Actually you can! This chapter will tell you
how to start exploring the rich dimension of your emotions and mental states in order to gain almost total
and direct command on them.

In this chapter, you will also learn a technique how to bring up any emotion or state you would like, any
time. In fact you will be doing an exercise that will skyrocket your motivation. If there is an emotion you
would rather be able to recall at will, motivation should be it! This is the most time consuming of exercises
but definitely the most fun so, really get into it!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 15
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

With Chapter 21 we conclude Part 3 although there is actually more we can do to make positive changes!

Part 4 – Putting it all together
All that you have learned so far has to be put into a coherent and holistic system that supports your continu-
ous self improvement, while also helping you to manage yourself whenever you have stuff to do. In this last
part of the book, we put everything together for greater power, point the way forward towards increased
success and “conclude” the book.

Chapter 22 – Managing Strategies
Did we not learn about Habits in Chapter 11? What about changing those? Here we learn to change, design
and adopt new ways of doing things, including habits. Habits can be changed quicker with techniques you
will learn here.

This chapter, in principle, is very similar to those in Part 3 of this book, yet it shows you how to instil in you
everything you have learned so far. You literally learn to program your brain at will.

Chapter 23 – The Pro-Completion System
Finally here is The SYSTEM that will keep all that you have learned stable in your mind, stuck together and
never lost.

The Pro-Completion System is a guideline to start tasks, see them through, finish them and learn to become
a better pro-completer for each and every endeavour. It is the perfect formula to take you from recovering
procrastinator to success.

Chapter 24 – Map of the Journey
While chapter 23 explains the Pro-Completion System, this fun little chapter tells you a story to better illus-
trate how it is actually utilised. You also get a number of lessons the author has learned by utilising the sys-
tem suggested.

Chapter 25 – Conditioning
This chapter teaches you a secret technique, inspired by the world’s most amazing marital artists, which will
help you to cultivate self discipline easily. Just like a martial artist hardens his hands to turn them into deadly
weapons, this chapter tells you how to condition your body and mind for Pro-Completion. The art of fighting
and winning procrastination!

Chapter 26 – Conclusion
This is a farewell from me, but the beginning of a productive new life for you!

Appendix
The end of this book has an Appendix containing some resources which are referenced throughout the book.

Our Main Focus
There are two behaviours we will focus on. One is called the ‘Procrastination Event’ and the other is the Pro-
Completion System.

The Procrastination Event describes how a procrastinator thinks and acts. This is a simple process that a pro-
crastinator goes through every time he or she procrastinates and is a process that takes place whatever the
cause may be! Knowing this process lets us become aware of it. Understanding this process opens up ways
to switch from procrastination mode to Pro-Completion mode, which is of course, its opposite.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 16
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Since we all get what we focus on, the Pro-Completion System is our aim. We will only pay attention to pro-
crastination for the purpose of eliminating it; so let us say something about it!

The Pro-Completion System describes three things
The thinking and actions of people that are Pro-Completers (the total opposite of procrastinators)
The motivation-friendly steps to go through in order to complete tasks
How, by using the various knowledge and techniques in this book you become a better task com-
pleter every time you go through the process necessary to complete tasks.

The Exercises in the book will make the System easier, so schedule time to do each one.

Once you learn what the System is about, you will also be presented with an escape route from the procras-
tination trap. Also, in case there will be any cause of procrastination that was not treated by the exercises,
you will be able to convert it into a cause of productivity whenever you discover it.
This is THE SYSTEM that you will be learning and adopting. This system is THE way to change a Procrastinator
into a success achieving individual. It can only be truly mastered once The Causes of and The Solutions for
procrastination have each been learnt and understood!

While the section on solutions is full of techniques for handling the various causes you should keep the fol-
lowing in mind. These techniques alone, if left outside of the system, will not guarantee total preparation
for future forms of procrastination that may crop up. The Ultimate Solution lies in a clear system that pro-
vides a framework for grouping these various techniques and allows us to handle ourselves even when unfa-
miliar causes of procrastination present themselves. Life situations change and it is this system that will
guarantee that our new found Pro-Completion Skills are kept no matter what change of circumstances we
may go through.

People usually experience procrastination when there is a change; when they either change career, a rela-
tionship breaks up, start a new routine, retire or get a promotion! By using this Powerful System change will
not disturb your efficiency and effectiveness.

As you can see, there is quite a lot of material to cover and if you are ever going to arrive to the end you are
going to need the right attitude, strength and commitment, which is what we will focus on in the next chap-
ter…

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 17
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change
For you to be able to change yourself there are pre-requisites. This short chapter will take a look at what
they are and how to get them.

First Requirement: Brutal Honesty
Honesty is not just an admirable character trait, it is useful and indispensable. No successful person in the
world wants to be surrounded by ‘yes’ men, they all want honest feedback, and welcome criticism.

Why do you need to be honest? Because you cannot solve a problem unless you admit that you have it!
Why must honesty be brutal? Because, mediocre honesty is not enough, let me give an example.

I read a book by a psychologist once. He was writing about a woman who was honest enough to admit that
she talked a lot. She was in fact an unstoppable chatter box. However, she was not honest enough to admit
that she was annoying people even though, she knew that she was demanding too much attention from
them. She was not ready to admit that she was doing the chattering because of a feeling of insecurity, nor
that she was disclosing a lot of intimate details about herself, her husband and other people, amongst saying
a lot of other nonsense. The real, underlying problem was something much more severe than words, but she
was only ready to admit that she was exhibiting the superficial symptom.

It is not enough to admit you have a procrastination symptom, you must be ready to admit that the cause is
a problem whatever it is. There are many people who have read books about positive thinking and are not
willing to admit that THEY have limiting beliefs because they are always talking with optimism. Positive
thinking works against people who are so trapped in their optimistic fantasies that they fail to honestly asses
reality.

What you need is not optimistic thinking but Positive Focusing. Focus on becoming procrastination free and
in the meantime uncover and admit that there are things that are not quite desirable with the way you are
tackling your tasks and your goals. Believe me, no one likes discovering that they carry causes of procrastina-
tion, however, when one knows that there are relatively simple and quick solutions it is a joy to discover as
many as possible.

Second Requirement – Responsibility
Maybe this should be first but anyway! In our society we have a bad habit of blaming and associate responsi-
bility with blame. Whenever we want to blame someone we ask ourselves “Who is responsible?”
Responsibility means admitting that the outcomes for your life depend on you, not anyone else. It also
means something more than admitting, it means an Ability to have a creative Response to situations; for this
reason I like spelling it as Response-ability with a hyphen.

Let us start practicing brutal honesty as of now! You are responsible for your actions because you carry them
out. You are responsible for what thoughts go through your head. These will in turn produce feelings and
behaviours. Your behaviours produce external results.

To beat procrastination you have to take full Response-Ability and stop blaming your circumstances, the peo-
ple at work, your school-days’ bullies and teachers and your upbringing. The past is gone and what remains
is you and the choices you make. So what choices will you make?

It is never the outside circumstances that make us procrastinate but the way we look at them, see them, and
think about them. It is the infamous ‘Dark Side’ inside.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 18
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Understanding this last sentence is essential, for it is what all success and happiness is based on!

Responsible Emotions
You are also responsible for how you feel. There is not one single person out there that irritates you; it is
YOU who decide that some particular behaviour irritates you. Yes, you decide!

There is nothing out there that causes you to feel fear (in any form); it is YOU who decide to see things in a
dangerous way.

It is a choice, and although, out of habit, you may be doing it unconsciously you are still choosing between a
variety of feelings and reactions.

And no, it is not the way you ‘just are’! The only thing that the study of the brain and mind has shown re-
peatedly, is that we can change very easily, even instantly. Your personality is not set; you can change it and
you are therefore responsible for changing what does not work well.

There are many ways to prove this point:

First Proof: Not everyone finds the same thing irritating or fearful… that proves there are different ways of
viewing something. If there are alternatives, by definition, there are choices to be made.

Second Proof: Most likely, If someone offends you, you feel hurt. Have you ever realised that it may not nec-
essarily be so? Somebody could offend you and you could choose to dismiss the comments as ‘a cheap opin-
ion of a fool’. Similarly one could pay you a compliment and you have a choice on how to react. You have a
variety of choices to be exact!

Third Proof: People react to the same thing differently all the time.
One study I did, in my late teens, was to go around telling girls they look really amazing (I had just conquered
my shyness, and I always had a thing for experiments). Independent of looks, there were those who
blushed, those who laughed, those who cried, those who remained indifferent, those who said I needed to
have my eyesight checked and those who got mad at me.

What caused those particular reactions in each case?
Was it me? No! I did not change, nor did I change my comments. Therefore, if I were always constant, I was
not the cause of the different reactions.

Was it their looks? Again No! There was a difference in reaction even between gorgeous girls, between ugly
girls and so-so girls.

What was it? It was the thoughts they carried in their minds about themselves and, about giving and receiv-
ing compliments in general. It may very well have been that, those who were used to giving sincere compli-
ments thought my compliment to be sincere, while those who used to say nice things to everyone every time
thought I was doing the same. Ultimately though, their thoughts created their reality.

Similarly there are actions you automatically react against by procrastinating. This is also a choice that only
you are responsible for repeating or resolving and you must take that responsibility NOW!

Taking Responsibility is essential to cure procrastination

To overcome procrastination we must realise that we have choices and take full responsibility for the choices
we make.
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Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Responsibility role-models
People who take responsibility will find ways to succeed no matter what circumstances life throws at them.
Richard Burton started his first business after he and his wife were left stranded on Virgin Islands without money.
Today he is a billionaire and is exploring the possibility of sending tourists in space.
Thomas Edison had only three months of schooling in his life and yet he gave the world One thousand and ninety
six inventions.
Henry Ford was illiterate.
Steve Jobs (of Apple Computers & Pixar Animations) was so penniless in his college days that he had to collect bot-
tles to pay his lunch and walk miles to the nearest Hare Krishna temple on Sundays for a decent meal.
Silvester Stallone’s dream of working as a Hollywood actor cost him everything. At one point he even had to sell his
best friend (his dog) to avoid dying of starvation.
Soichiro Honda (of Honda Motors) had his dreams destroyed by corporations and governments. His factory was
once destroyed by the war and once again by an earthquake. He rose out of his ashes.
Albert Einstein was only good at playing the violin in his school days.

It is not circumstances that shape your destiny, but what you do in them!

Third Requirement – Purpose
Many think that motivation is simply an object when in fact it is a process that you do inside your mind.
Whenever you need motivation, the best thing to look for first is a definite, positive reason why you want to
take action.

What is your reason for learning how to change, and what is your reason for changing? We already worked
on this in the last chapter.
The clearer that reason is, the better so let us get busy!

Exercise 1: Purpose
First Exercise in this book (takes about 15 minutes)

Are you willing to do the exercise or is the voice of procrastination saying “Oh no an exercise already ”!? If
procrastination is rearing its ugly head that’s great because this is an opportunity to exercise a suggestion I
already shared with you in the first chapter.

Remember when I told you that there are three attitudes, two of which will try to stop you and you must tell
them to shut up using strong language. We are going to do that just now as part of this exercise.

Step 1) Start saying “SHUT UP” while you reach for the pens and papers to do this exercise! If you’re willing
to do the exercise you may want to join the choir just the same.

Note that we are going to use whatever you write on this sheet in the powerful Motivation Increasing ex-
ercise.

Step 2) Sit down with pens and papers in front of you.
Step 3) For ten minutes write down the reasons why you want to learn this material. Mention both positive
and negative reasons. Mention what behaviours you want to develop from this course and also what behav-
iours you do not want to keep. Mention what the ability to motivate yourself means to you, why you would
like be a pro-completer and what successes and possessions this material will give in your career and life.
Step 4) Chances are that the best ideas come after the ten minutes, if this happens use another five minutes
to write down more reasons.
Step 5) When you are ready and satisfied with the answers, celebrate your success at completing the first
exercise in this book. In every endeavour, the hardest part is the start and you have got going.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 20
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

Step 6 (Optional but Recommended) Keep this paper close because we will refer to it at some point. You
may also discover or remember new reasons to master this knowledge in the coming days which you may
want to add to the list.

Congratulations on defeating procrastination to completing the first exercise and all you used was just one,
very simple suggestion.

Fourth Requirement – Humility
This has a lot to do with brutal honesty. During this course there will be exercises where you will be required
to challenge what you believe to be true and where you believe you are right.

One of the reasons, why people do not change when trying to improve themselves, is because they want to
hang on to their opinions. Your opinions are tinted by your perception and no person knows the whole pic-
ture, we are all like the blind men each touching a different part of an elephant and having a guess at what
shape it has got.

A procrastinator does not have the same idea about work, tasks, goals and time that a Power Completer has.
Who is right? It does not matter who is right, what matters is who gets the best results! In fact, as far as pro
-completion is concerned, you are going to be asked to adopt new beliefs based on what works best, not on
what appears to be true.

You can be wrong, and it takes courage to admit that you can be wrong but you will reap many benefits if
you do. However, you can be right but your knowledge of the truth may work against you.
You must be ready to challenge your beliefs and tendencies. A person who really loves the truth will chal-
lenge his established beliefs to see if they stand against a reality check. Truth will always stand. However,
keep in mind that what you need from this book are not opinions that are true, but ones that when adopted,
will give you the best results.

Paradoxically this will increase your love for The Truth, because you will mature from being a defender of
one opinion to a tester of all. You will be testing everything’s worth so as to gain any benefit and discarding
what is not needed.

Fifth Requirement – A Positive Attitude
A Positive Attitude is more than optimism. It a focus on what positive things there are to gain. It is a focus
on the positive results, rather than on the hard work that need to be done to get them. It is a focus on en-
joying each chapter, rather than on comparing yourself to an imaginary standard and label yourself as a big
or a small procrastinator. It is a focus on enjoying learning not on how much you do not yet know.

It is also about managing your opinions. If an opinion that works against you is noticed do the SHUT UP exer-
cise and send it to a fitting place, then adopt a positive alternative.
If you hear that little negative voice telling you something like, “you’re going to procrastinate on this” or
“you’re a slow learner” or “you could come back when the mood is more appropriate,” just send it to hell.
Then use positive alternatives like, “I am responsible for how much I pro-complete” or “I learned to walk and
read so I CAN learn” or “The time or mood will never be perfect, and I’m learning to act in spite of mood.”

Remember! It is your Attitude that will determine your Altitude!

Part of your positive attitude means being reasonable. While personal change can happen quicker than most
people believe, It is unrealistic to expect that you are going to wake up as a hardened Pro-Completer in less

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 21
Chapter 3 – Requirements for Change

than a week just by reading a handful of chapters from this book. You’ll have to exercise and invest some
time. The time invested will be gained back with dividends.

How to get these requirements
The good news is that, as you go along with this book, many of the exercises actually strengthen the require-
ments mentioned in this chapter.

You will strengthen Response-ability, Honesty, Clarity of Purpose, Humility and Positive Attitude for life in
general. With these you will also be strengthening, self-control, enjoyment and personal power.

My hopes for you
Now, that we have seen what we will cover and have determined why, we can start the lessons about your
personal transformation. Although our focus will be making you a Pro-Completer; it is my sincere wish that
using what you are going to learn here, serves you, not only to become a pro-completer but also, a champion
in all aspects of your life. May all your desires and wishes come true! I am sure that once you stop getting in
their way and take full responsibility for achieving them, you will manage to find and learn everything you
need on the way to get them. In fact, I am also confident, that you will get even more; because once you dis-
cover that you are able to do anything you set your mind on, you will rediscover the ability to dream big. This
will make you achieve greater things for yourself and your loved ones than you can dream of right now.
I can really wish you no greater good on this Earth!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 22
Chapter 4 - A Procrastinator's Mind

Chapter 4 – A procrastinator’s mind

So are you a procrastinator?
I have a very simple test for knowing if someone is a procrastinator. It involves asking deep, personal but
important questions. I could ask many but one of these is more significant (I call it the Procrastination Litmus
Test).

If someone told you that you will be going through a phase in your life where work, effort, responsibility and
self motivation will be required of you; would that bring up good or bad feelings?

If you feel like shock, guilt, puzzlement, confusion, fear, distrust, anger, sadness and urgency to avoid, then
you definitely are a procrastinator. If you are a highly intellectual person you may experience a rationalised
version of the above emotions rather than the feelings themselves. However, this is still a manifestation of
an emotion or mental state.

If your reaction is a smile, excitement, curiosity or if it feels like everyday life for you then, you are more
likely to be a pro - completer.

If your answer is: “That’s scary, but I would consider taking the challenge in order to improve myself!” you
will get a lot out of this course because until you learn the helpful techniques presented here, work, effort
and responsibility are inescapable requirements. If you have trouble with self motivation find someone to
whom you will be accountable for doing the exercises you will be given.

But what causes procrastination really?

Are you broken?
I want to take a radically different route from politically correct, self-help gurus in this course. Most would
tell you that you are a magnificent being made in the image of God and they would focus on how great you
are. Eventually they would ask you not to throw away your precious self by doing something so contrary to
your nature, as procrastinating. In a nutshell they want to say that there is nothing wrong with you. You are
not broken!

Do I agree with them? In principle yes, I do. You are unbroken, magnificent, incredibly made, worthy and
capable of succeeding and everything, but secretly or publicly, you already know this! You would not be
reading unless you thought that a better ‘you’ were possible. I just thought of reminding you of that better
you and that yes, you can be that better you!

But even if you have limitless potential, your performance is not matching it so, what on earth is happen-
ing with you?
I want to focus on the part of you which contradicts all of the above mentioned magnificence. There is
something causing procrastination and we need to change that. Every person has an incredible potential but
for most of us, our performance does not match that potential at all. This is something you will find un-
pleasant because it demonstrates how this beautiful creature we call ‘human being’, in many cases, is as stu-
pid as other beasts or worse, and not just occasionally.

More importantly, you will discover WHY this happens, and this will reveal what we have to manage in or-
der to start performing more intelligently. I know my share about the mind and I know we are all geniuses
even though, like most people, you may not believe it. If this raises any guilt feelings, that, is reasonable; we
waste so much of our potential!

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 23
Chapter 4 - A Procrastinator's Mind

We actually delay tasks because we make use of a brain that apart from free will (yes it exists), does things
according to a number of set conditionings. This is something similar to what brains of other animals do. We
humans also have our own instincts and automatic behaviours that characterise us. These instincts can con-
flict with our interests.

Why the mind creates Procrastination
The shocking truth about your mind is that it is not one thing. Your mind is made up of different parts and
each part has its own strengths, functions and priorities. These priorities do conflict with each other, and
this is a main source of procrastination. Shocking as this may seem, it is something you are familiar with, es-
pecially when you are under a procrastination attack and you know it. One part of the mind wants to finish
up a task, the other wants to avoid it, they disagree and, more often than not, that part which favours avoid-
ance wins!

This is an over simplification of the scientifically proven fact that there are parts of the brain dedicated to
different priorities but it illustrates a point; they can end up in disagreement.

So you procrastinate not because you are broken, it is because you are whole. You have the adventurous
part of you that wants to play with fire, but you also need that part of you that feels fear, it exists to keep
you safe. If you only had the adventurous without the fearful one, you would not hesitate or procrastinate.
Unfortunately though, you would not hesitate to do very dangerous stuff, because you would not stop at
ANYTHING!

Later on in this book we will talk about four parts of the mind and learn about their priorities and functions.
For now let us assume there are two which we will call, The Disciplined Mind and The Instinctive Mind. So
our minds are in a constant tug of war! Instinct against Discipline, Gratification against Achievement, Com-
fort against Productivity, Anger against Conscience and so on...

This is a problem that has troubled mankind from time immemorial . Greek philosophers came up with theo-
ries, Judaic, Christian and Islamic religions describe this separation as man’s Image of God against the Sinful
Nature that cursed mankind at ‘the fall’ in the Garden of Eden (those damn serpents). It is no surprise that
nowadays it is still troubling many as well!

But why are conflicts not solved easily? Because there is yet another thing to learn to successfully manage
this conflict between urges. Get this! Our mind is not capable of managing this kind of conflict, without
the right knowledge, tools and training. Without these we are like a stupid bird…

The chicken and the fence metaphor
A chicken is really good at being a chicken but it does some really stupid things.

If you put a chicken on one side of a chicken-wired fence with its food on the other side, a chicken will be-
have very idiotically. It would try to pass trough the fence and when it sees that it cannot, it insists! It keeps
doing this mistake even to the point of choking itself in the wire. This will happen even with an open fence.

A dog would act differently. It would soon realise that it cannot go through the fence and walk around it in-
stead. A cat, on the other hand, would prefer to jump over it.

But why does the chicken do that?

The chicken thinks in a straight line. It says to itself, “me here, food there, walk straight towards it or I’ll end
up somewhere that is not near the food”. Our feathered friend DOES THINK! However, it is limited to simple

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 24
Chapter 4 - A Procrastinator's Mind

processes. To your average hen, going sideways to reach a goal instead of directly towards it, is totally il-
logical.

For a dog or a monkey’s brain, going sideways is logical because these brains can take more factors in.
Unlike the chicken, a dog can take into consideration three things simultaneously instead of just one. That
difference is enough for it to see and determine factors which the hen simply filters out!

Now my friend, you and I DO behave like chickens.

Now you may rightly claim, “Hey, I am perfectly capable of realising that I can’t go through a wire fence and
that I should go around it instead”. Oh yes! We humans are very good at making sense of the solid land-
scape we find in the world outside of us but here is a question.

Are we equally able to make sense of our mental, internal landscapes? If there is a goal you would like to
reach but you are continually hitting bumps (like fears, distractions and other things that happen in the
mind), are you that good at going around those internal bumps?

No we are not! When it comes to making sense of our internal world we find ourselves with a chicken brain
experiencing the same chicken experience. We’re stuck, not because there is no way around our fence, but
because we are not taking enough factors in.
How many times have you heard of the procrastinator who wants to free himself of a task but instead of do-
ing it, he avoids it? For that procrastinator, doing the task is illogical!
His goal is completing the task successfully (like the food is the chicken’s goal)
He needs to do a task (like walking to the food is the chicken’s task)
But the fear of lack of freedom, the belief that the task may be boring, the fact that he would rather be play-
ing outside with his kids, the impression that the task is not even defined, act much like a fence. These are
blockages that are not allowing his brain to do the task.
Soon enough the procrastinator is uselessly struggling through that fence. Has he noticed the other way?

The other way does not seem logical. It is thought that the human brain is capable of factoring only between
five to nine facts simultaneously, and that is not enough to see the big picture. However, the very act that
appears less logical (planning the way from where he is to the completion of the task, while discovering the
inner fence and avoiding it) seems like a task on the side that would only deviate him from reaching the goal.

The fence WE get stuck in
Notice that part of the chicken is willing to go to the goal, yet there is another part of it that wants to hug the
fence thinking there is a reward in doing so. So again, there are two minds with different priorities. How
does this compare to our internal chicken?

The fence inside our mind is made up of something we call Model of the World. In plain English, it is our
emotions, beliefs, values or lack thereof, habits and tendencies.

If someone believes himself to be incompetent, that belief is the exact wire strand in the fence that is chock-
ing this person. If one has a lonely task, when he desperately needs companionship, there is a conflict of in-
terest and that is another wire strand. Feeling bored or fearing boredom is another.

We are looking at the task yes, we know it is there, that it has to be done and that it will be rewarding, but
we fail to realise that these wire strands are stuck together in a way that create a barrier. This barrier is at-
tached to the ground; as long as we struggle against it we will remain immobile.

The Ultimate Procrastination Cure— 25