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How can I make myself tackle the projects I've been avoiding?

If you struggle with procrastination, you're not alone. Most of us procrastinate from time to time. One in five adults and fifty percent of college students actually define themselves as chronic procrastinators.

Procrastination occurs when a person makes a decision to act but does not follow through. Experts say people procrastinate for emotional as well as psychological and practical reasons.

If you're like most of us, understanding why you're doing something is the first step toward change. Why do we procrastinate? Here are some common reasons.

Perfectionism (if it can't be perfect, and, let's face it, what can?, we'd rather not even try)
Fear of the unknown, fear of failure (we're not sure how)
Wanting to do it all; being unable to say no (we take on too much)
Feeling overwhelmed (we don't know where to start)
Adrenaline addiction (a last-minute rush is exciting)

Often, several of these reasons coexist.

What task have you been putting off, and why? Make a commitment to yourself to take action, note the support and resources you'll need, give yourself a deadline, and get going.

Here are five ways to kick the procrastination habit.

  1. Trade perfectionism for realism. Do the best you can in the time you have.
  2. List the benefits of completing the task to motivate you to get started.
  3. Face your fears: once you identify why you're procrastinating, you may be ready to get started.
  4. Work on difficult projects early in the day and/or when you have the most energy.
  5. Divide large projects into small segments and schedule time with yourself to tackle each one.




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