8. Listen to your excuses. Why are you putting off certain tasks in favor of others? Chances are it’s because you like to feel good and your perceptions about certain tasks drive you away from them. You don’t even want to think about anything that could move you away from the pleasure you desire in the direction of perceived pain. But the one task that’s most important in the moment is the one you need to work on. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of working hard on things of lesser importance. But don’t trick yourself into avoiding the work that’s most important to your project. Pay attention and reset your course of action.
9. Play mind games to keep it interesting. Transform a boring task into a fun game. Challenge yourself to break your speed record or to find a more efficient way to perform this task. Develop your own techniques and shortcuts. By doing so, you’ll improve your productivity and have some fun too. The result is that you’ll complete the “boring” work and be on your way. You might even discover a breakthrough process that you can use over and over again.
10. Recognize your delay tactics for what they are and then take action. Have many times have you thought about doing something only to talk yourself out of it because it was too difficult, too inconvenient, or too unappealing? Listen to your internal voice — but be prepared to overrule if it’s preventing you from doing the important things. Rarely is a task as oppressive as it seems. Usually, “the stewing is worse than the doing”. Improve your outlook and continue moving forward.
11. Change your attitude toward any seemingly difficult or unpleasant task and it gets easier. Catch yourself moaning about the job you have to do. Stop yourself in your tracks and make a radical shift in your mindset. It’s easy to spend more time whining about having to do this or that. But why not just get the job done? You’re going to have to do it anyway, so it’s really a non-issue.
12. Discover the reason why you’re putting off an important writing task. Here are some of the primary reasons writers procrastinate: A) Other items on their list appear to be more important. B) The specific task seems so unpleasant that doing almost anything else would be preferable. C) The writer lacks confidence in his/her own ability to accomplish the task to an acceptable standard. Figuring out what’s holding you back is the first step to overcoming the barrier.
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