First-Aid for Procrastination

Marcia Yudkin, a prolific writer on all things marketing, came up with a list of quick "first-aid" measures for procrastinators. Here's the short version of her recommendations:

  1. Don't just call it "procrastination." What is it about what you're doing that's wasting your time? Get specific. Once it has a name, it's easier to stop yourself from doing it. (Example: "I'm checking e-mail when I should be writing my order card.")
  2. Face your fear. "Little brains," as they say in Albert Brooks' movie Defending Your Life, "spend all their time dealing with fear." Life is fear. Progress is overcoming it. You'd be surprised by what you could do if you'd just get started.
  3. Define your desires. Maybe, deep down, you know that what you're SUPPOSED to do is a real waste of time. Stop for a second to decide, definitively, if this is the project for you. It's good to say "yes" often. But not always. And not stupidly.
  4. Make it fun. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, it will be an uphill battle to get it done. Take writing, for example. I like writing (especially promo writing), because I always learn something new and interesting when I do it – and, for me, learning is fun.
  5. Act on insights. The curse of creativity is that it sometimes strikes when you're not at your desk. Your family might hate this suggestion … but it's better, according to Marcia, to act on those sudden insights. Carry a pad and pen at all times. Always be ready to make a quick call. Make it a habit to keep the creative spigot open no matter where you are. Sustaining the energy is worth a few glares.

[If procrastination is an obstacle for you, consider Michael Masterson's Goal Setting program. It's amazing how a few simply changes to your daily routine can make the biggest difference. Click here for more information:]

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Published: June 9, 2003

1 Response to “First-Aid for Procrastination”

  1. an effective article. it'll help me a lot to get over of my procrastination.
    thanks a lot.

    Guest (mukto)

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