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Procrastination: It’s A Mind Thing

I am a procrastinator.  I said this all the time and freely used it as an excuse to myself for why only eight out of 15 tasks on my daily To Do lists got done.  I procrastinate – it was my mantra.  I owned it totally.  It was me.  And I felt bad about undone tasks.  I felt like an underachiever.

Then one day, I started to think….why am I a procrastinator?  Was the root the traditional reasons experts give (you know – fear, lack of focus, task so big you don’t know where to begin so you don’t, poor time management skills, TV)?  But, I had tried the experts’ traditional fixes for these, but they didn’t work for long. So was the root something else? 

Some words I read years ago began to echo in my head:

      “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)

     “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”  Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

 I have a good friend named Lynne.  Every time she begins to do something, especially something new, she smiles a huge smile and says, “I can do this!”  And she gets it done.  She is awesome and such an inspiration. Hmmm…..

Could it be my thinking?  Had I said “I am a procrastinator” so much I was “eating its fruit”?  I started to realize that procrastination is a conscious act.  It was a decision.  I decided to change my thinking.  Instead of thinking, “I am a procrastinator,” I began thinking, “I do not procrastinate.  I can do this now!”  I also began saying it out loud.  And I also stop focusing on how many things on my daily To Do list didn’t get done and started focusing on the things I did.

Am I perfect now?  No.  But I get more done now without unreasonable delays.  In my planner, I  now track and focus on my daily accomplishments.  If  I don’t accomplish a task on the day I planned, I write it down to do the next day and it gets done.   I face the challenge everyday to do a task now, but I can do this – I do not procrastinate!

Question for Comment: How do you deal with procrastination?

(originally posted June 25, 2010)

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