Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Have So Many Time Tomorrow

Overcome Procrastination Now.


People have procrastinated since biblical times. Jonah, God commanded him to tell the people of Nineveh that the place will be destroyed if they will not repent from there sins in 40 days time [Book of Jonah]. Moses used the excuse of being a slow talker and procrastinated when God called him to action [Exodus 3 & 4]. The prodigal son delayed going home and ended up eating pigs’ slop [Luke 15].

MANIANA is a Spanish word meaning TOMORROW and for Filipinos it is LATER or MAMAYA NA.  Something in common? The fact that both words means to delay an act.

Ever wonder why people push things aside to do later?

They’re afraid they’ll fail. It’s a real drain to their self-esteem to think that they might try something and not be good at it. So instead of immediately tackling project that feels overwhelming, they put it off on the chance that they may not succeed, and they don’t start at all.

They’re afraid they’ll succeed. Other times people think that if they do something –and do it well- that others will raise their expectations and want something even better the next time. If they put off trying, they don’t have to worry about improving success.

They don’t want to feel deprived. If a goal feels more like a punishment than a reward, a procrastinator will put off going forward. Take dieting for instance. If starting a new diet means giving up the things they love to eat, there’s not much incentive to watch what goes in their mouth.

They care too much about what others think.
Caring too much about what friends will say or do can make it procrastinator put off crucial decisions. If they think their buds will disapprove, they’re likely to delay moving forward.

They’re afraid to try something new.
Most people don’t like to change. They’d rather in their rut than set out in a new direction. Instead of admitting that the old way may not be the best way, they put off trying something different.

It’s not too late to break your procrastination habit. Here’s how you can do it.

Face you feelings.
If fear has you tied up in knots, admit it’s a problem. If you rely too much of opinions, decide it make a change. If the thought of doing without something has you stalled, it’s time to look that problem in the eye. Acknowledge that your emotions are causing to put off going forward in life. Deal with the root of your procrastination problem.

Be honest with others. Ask family and friends to help you stop procrastinating. It’s lonely to tackle a project or make a lifestyle change by yourself. Ask people you trust to hole you accountable and cheer you on. Tell them that you want to accomplish, by what date, and ask them to check on you progress.

Try five. Anyone can do something for five minutes. Tell yourself that you’ll devote five minutes to whatever needs to be accomplished, and at least you will have started. Remember, well begun is halfway done.

Break it down. Big projects can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start. If you’ve got a difficult task ahead, try coming up with a step-by-step plan to complete it. Looking at the baby steps involved –instead of the big picture of what needs to be accomplished- can make tackling the job less fearful.

Give yourself an incentive. It’s easier to make a good habit stick if there’s a reward attached. Tell yourself you can watch your favorite TV show after you finish your homework, or that you can IM your friends after you’ve finished the last page of your report.

Count the cost.
Ever figure out how much time you waste when you put off something? It’s easy for that 15-minutes assignment to take hours to complete when you stop for a snack or go to the Web for research and end up surfing. Wasting time just prolongs the agony. Get on with it!

Take time to pray. Taking a minute to go to the Lord and ask for His help with your problem is always a good use of your time. Ask God to give you the strength you need to deal with any emotions that may be holding you back from solving this problems, and for the determination to solve it.

We all need to realize that procrastinating is just a waste of time, and time is much too precious to waste. Now never means later or tomorrow. Start a new life without procrastination. The clock is ticking. If you have something that you’re putting off, why not deal with it now?

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