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Three Keys to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination occurs for a number of reasons and in varying degrees.

by Doug Vermeeren
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Procrastination occurs for a number of reasons and in varying degrees. The most prevalent reasons for procrastination are:

  • unanswered questions about the task
  • unresolved fears about doing the task
  • insufficient motivation to take on something new

All of these reasons are internal, and really have nothing to do with the task itself. So if you have a few unfinished projects looming over your head and you can't seem to muster the initiative to get them done, put the following procrastination-busting tips into play today.

1. Find your passion
If you're passionate about something, you don't need an outside motivator to get it done, nor do you fear the task or have unresolved questions about it. So the big question is, how do you find your passion? There are actually two routes to take: 1) either it's some aspect of the work you already do, or 2) it's something close to your heart. Keep in mind that your passion doesn't have to be something you're good at; it just has to be something meaningful to you - something that gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning.

But what if you're stuck in a situation but fear leaving due to financial or other constraints? How can you beat procrastination under those circumstances? First consider talking to your supervisor about new opportunities you can take on within your current position. Something drew you to that position initially. Find out that reason and you may be able to uncover some aspect of your current situation that you are passionate about and that can motivate you to achieve greater goals.

2. Choose a motivational buddy
Often, other people can motivate you to keep going when you're suffering from procrastination. Your buddy or team can consist of anyone as long as the people you choose will truly hold you accountable for taking (or not taking) action. Make sure you choose people you feel comfortable talking to about your goals and aspirations. Detail exactly what you want to do and why, as well as how you plan to accomplish the goal. Then, make sure your team can monitor what you're doing on a regular basis.

3. Get moving
Newton's Law of Motion states that objects in motion will stay in motion. That's why you have to do something, no matter how small, to get going toward your goal and beat procrastination. Every one of us is full of potential energy - energy that has not yet started in motion. But once some sort of motion starts, it will keep going. Therefore, you have to take some step, even a small one sometimes, to start the momentum. Once you do, continuing the activity will be a lot easier.