Ending Procrastination, Part II


I am going to give you an exercise designed to help you to end procrastination. First, think about something you are currently procrastinating about. Don’t pick the most difficult problem you have, but one that is not so complex. After all, you are learning a new skill.

1) Before doing anything, break the problem you are procrastinating about down into steps. Write the steps on paper in a list form.

2) Assign a timeline for completion of the steps. If certain steps cause you more anxiety than others, break them down into smaller steps.

3) Along with each step, write down a small reward you will give yourself for completing that step. Make the reward tangible and time limited. For instance, a piece of chocolate, a ten minute break or a short walk around the block. Do not reward yourself with activities that are hypnotic in nature, such as going on social media or watching TV.

4) Cross off the steps as you do them until they are finished. Then reward yourself in any way you want.

5) Start again with some new problem you are procrastinating about. Again, it doesn’t have to be that big a problem. This is about habit change, not completely reorganizing your whole life.

Keep repeating this this process for a month. Note that it takes a minimum of 28 days of continuous practice to change a habit. After a month of working on this method, you should begin to see that other areas of procrastination in your life are becoming less troublesome.

If you feel discouraged, please remember the words of Mark Twain:

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs gently, one step at a time.”