7/05/2008

A simple technique for overcoming procrastination

Procrastination is a huge issue for many of us. When we put off the things we should be doing, we often have to contend with nagging voices and a general feeling of guilt for not having done what we know we should have. The ability to overcome procrastination is something we'd all like to have. Whenever I have a daunting task that I'd like to avoid, for whatever reason, I muster up the strength to complete the task by following this simple ritual.

The first thing you have to overcome is the feeling of not wanting to do the task that you've been avoiding. To do this, you can incorporate a simple act of visualization to help get your juices flowing. Before visualizing, you should identify an intention for the activity that you are about to undertake. If the activity is cleaning the bathroom, you can say something like "I intend to have a clean, fresh, comfortable bathroom that I can enjoy with my family." Once you have stated your intention (preferably verbally), you quickly formulate a mental image in your mind of the cleaned bathroom and how great it feels to shower and pamper yourself in that room. Next, you think of yourself moving on to more enjoyable tasks after the bathroom is completely done along with the wonderful feeling of not having to come home to a dirty bathroom.

The entire process should not take more than a few minutes depending on how complex the task you have to complete. What you are doing is basically pumping yourself up to complete the work with loads of energy and determination similar to what a coach does with his football team in the locker room before the game. You psych yourself up for the task and create such a desire to have it done that you can not simply just say that you'll do it later and put it on the back burner. You've already seen it completed in your mind with the best possible outcome. Armed with your new found perspective on the situation, you no longer see the task as a large mountain to climb but as something that can easily be completed with a little bit of effort and determination.

Best of all the simple act of visualizing the event helps you move through the actual tasks much faster. Every great thinker understands the value of visualization and how it helps us to become more efficient. When we experience the steps of what we have to do clearly in our minds, we have less apprehension in doing it again in real life. Visualizing is the difference between typing a paper from a rough draft as opposed to trying to create the ideas for a paper from scratch. Use your mind as a tool to make every task or project easier for you. As this practices becomes a bona fide habit, you no longer dread the thought of having to do something. You've already done it, you now just need to replay the motions in real life. Now get to it!

No comments: