How to overcome procrastination?

Procrastination is a word to be feared, yet it is a word that we are all too familiar with. The dictionary defines it as “To postpone or delay needlessly.” It also traces its roots to the Latin wherein pro-crastinate means to “put forward.” Thus, when we don’t want to do something today, we put it forward until tomorrow. Sometimes that works and other times it starts creating a kind of sandbag effect in which it just seems easier to keep putting things off. Why do we procrastinate? There are many reasons. Here are some that I have found:

• I don’t know where to start
• The task seems daunting and monumental
• I am afraid I don’t have the ability
• I fear I will not be able to finish
• I am afraid of looking stupid
• I tried before and failed
• I just don’t feel like doing it

You could probably put your own list up but I would guess that it would have some similarities to my list. Is there a secret to overcoming procrastination or a solution? I think the answer is yes. We are all intimidated by the world. The people that accomplish the most are the ones who find support from others. Every year at graduation, I listen to the seniors talk about how they could not have made it without the help and support of someone else, usually their family, a teacher or friends. Going to college for four years is a major undertaking. We can never be sure if we will pass or graduate or even manage to pay the college loans off. Anyone who starts school begins a very long and precarious journey. However, as the song says “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

When you find that you are procrastinating that can be a red flag or a signal that you need some help from a friend. Working together we can do anything. Remember Ben Franklins famous quote “Either we all hang together or we all hang separately.” Why try to do it all by yourself? Musicians, chess players, actors and sports figures all have coaches. Coaches help us stay on track and provide moral and mental support. You may not be able to afford a high paying professional coach, but I will bet there is someone in your life that could help play this role. Seek this person out and enlist them in your endeavor. The secret to overcoming procrastination is to find others who can support and nurture your effort.

What are you putting forward today that you really need to do now? Who can you enlist to support you mentally, physically or emotionally in your effort? Do you need ideas or simply willpower? Who do you know that would best provide them? By the end of the day, will you be able to contact them? If not, is there someone else who could help you? Don’t procrastinate, contact them now. You will be glad you did.

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