Just Do It: How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Moving


It’s easy for me to tell you to do the thing you know you need (or want) to do but don’t want to take the steps to do. The real problem begins between your ears… in your mind.

Consider this: if you lack motivation to do most things because you are afraid they are going to be hard, it is because you are thinking about it the wrong way. If you think it is going to be hard, it will be hard.

We think we have to know exactly what to say before we write that e-mail. We put off applying for financial aid for our classes because it seems to take so darn long to fill out those fields on the website and hunt down our tax info. We are afraid to start projects that we are no confident that we can (or want to) finish. Well, throw out all those presuppositions.

One way you can combat procrastination is to find a new way of talking to yourself. Don’t tell yourself that you have to do something but that you get to. Tell yourself “I am looking forward to my study time because I get to learn something new and become more knowledgeable in this field.” “I get to network, promote my business, and learn about other peoples’ businesses if I go to this party. It’s better than staying home, eating that gallon of ice cream and getting fat.” “I get the satisfaction of knowing my checkbook is balanced and keep from bouncing checks if I take a moment to balance my checkbook.”

If there is something that you must do but do not want to do, check your attitude about it. If your attitude is wrong, know that your wrong attitude began with wrong thinking.

Sometimes, though, it takes a while to change deeply ingrained habits of wrong thinking and attitudes. Don’t stress about it. Keep moving. When you find out what you are actually capable of, this will help you change your attitude soon enough.

The main point is to get moving. You say you don’t want to start something you might not be able to finish? Excellent! Start it anyway! Your dislike of leaving things unfinished should be a motivator for you to see it through, step by step, to a completed end. You do not fail because you tried it and didn’t get the outcome you wanted; you failed because you didn’t try. You didn’t try because you gave yourself an excuse to fail.

Why keep giving yourself excuses to fail? You are only hurting yourself. There is a saying that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again while expecting a different result.

Another way to take action on a certain task is to give up any expectation that you are going to do it perfectly or complete it all right away. You have to tell yourself that you are alright with that. Just start, break the task down into steps on a to-do list, and see what fun it is to check off the smaller tasks as you do each one every day, every few hours, etc. Before you know it, the overall task will be completed!

You will also have to guard against thinking that conditions have to be just right before you can start your task. Perfectionism will never help you get anything done.

To get things done, it also helps to make yourself comfortable with discomfort. Again, the problem with that is between the ears. We often makes things more uncomfortable for us based simply on the way we think about the thing! Quit making an idol out of how you feel. Your feelings will change about something the more you do it.

Have you been letting your fears, wrong attitudes and wrong thinking challenge and question you? Turn around on those fears, wrong attitudes and wrong thinking and challenge and question them! Get moving!


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwerfeldein/5486288253/”>Martin Gommel</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>




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