Dr. Yarnell has produced many self-improvement and personal growth CDs for adults, teens and children. His ELIMINATE PROCRASTINATION WITH HYPNOSIS program will help you become successful now. Even Newsweek Magazine writes "The easiest way to break bad habits is through hypnosis."

Visit Dr. Yarnell's online store, Self-Help Solutions, containing self improvement and personal growth CDs for adults, adolescents and children.

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END PROCRASTINATION - BUILD SUCCESS
Thomas D. Yarnell, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Procrastination is a major stumbling block to success. We waste so much time trying to avoid difficult and unpleasant tasks that we set ourself up for failure.

There are two major causes of procrastination. The first major category is Avoidance. We procrastinate to avoid overwhelming tasks, difficult tasks, unpleasant tasks and to avoid change. The second category is fear and anxiety. We procrastinate because of our fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism, fear of making mistakes and fear of rejection.

If we keep in mind that procrastination is only a habit, and habits can be changed, we can find some hope for changing how we respond to different situations.

Try these different techniques for ending procrastination. Some will work better than others. Keep the ones that work and forget the rest.
1.  Do unpleasant tasks first and get them over with.
2.  Take unpleasant or difficult tasks and break tham down into small steps and then tackle them one at a time.

3.  Give yourself a deadline and let others know what it is. If you meet your deadline, give yourself a reward.

4.  Get help from someone. There is no rule that you have to do everything yourself.

5.  Delegate the task to someone else.

6.  Do the easiest part first so you can get started. Once you are moving, it is easier to continue.

7.  Consider the cost of putting the task off. What future problems might be created because you are not taking care of current business? What could happen if you put off your stop smoking or lose weight program? What might happen if you put off going to the doctor to check on that pain you've been having? What will the cost be to you for not completing that project at work on time? Fixing a problem early (even when you don't want to know there is a problem) is always easier than having to fix the mess after it's been going on for awhile. Think cheap and do it now.  
9.  Change how you look at the task. Whatever the task, it is difficult or unpleasant , partly, because of what you tell yourself about it. Make it into a game, in your mind, and it will go quicker and will be easier.

10. Set up a series of rewards to give yourself once you complete different stages of the project. Once the reward is earned, make sure you give it to yourself. Also, make sure the reward is appropriate for the task. Finishing a two page introduction to a report does not earn you a new car. Maybe completing the whole project, if it is really a hugh project, might earn the car but not completing a part of it. Just make sure the reward is appropriate for the task and make sure you take it when the task is completed.
11. If you are just "not in the mood" to get started on your dreaded task, ask yourself. "Self, is there anything I'd be willing to do right now?" Find something, anything, that you can do and do it. It doesn't have to be related to the task, just something to start your motor going. Once you are going, it will be easier for you to move to being "on task".
12. If you are procrastinating out of fear,one thing you can do to eliminate the fear is to get more information about the project. As you fill in the blanks about  what you need to do, what's missing, how to handle the task, etc. the fear will decrease and you will be able to get started.

13. If you are a perfectionist or have a strong desire to not make mistakes, you will have to recognize that these attitudes can be self-destructive because you can never know everything there is to know about anything. You will have to learn to take a risk. No one is right all the time and there comes a point where gathering more information or opinions won't help or add any more useful validity to the decision you have to make. Gather all the information you have, weigh the different outcomes and choose one and move on. Continuing to procrastinate will only make you more anxious. The best way to learn to do this is to start with something small. Start taking small risks where you are acting just a little out of your comfort zone. Slowly build up to the point that risk taking no longer stops you in your tracks.
8.  To control your anxiety and fear, there are many types of stress management and relaxation techniques you can learn. Don't let these feelings keep you from becoming successful. Here are two easy ways to learn to relax. Sit down or lie down, make yourself comfortable, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and as you exhale, begin to let your tension go. Next, visualize that there are little faucets at the end of each finger and each toe. The faucets are turned on and all the stress and tension in your body is pouring out of you. As you visualize this, let your body go and become totally relaxed.
14. Use positive self-statements to help you with your motivation. Repeat them to yourself and post them where you can see them. Positive statements such as: I do it now, I deserve the best, I am a success, etc. can be very motivating over time. I don't like writing psychological reports. It is the least fun thing about my career. To counteract my tendency to procrastinate about writing them, I keep a note taped to my computer that says, "JUST DO IT AND GET IT OVER WITH." Keep this as your philosopy and many of the tasks you don't want or like to do will become easier as you start them, keep the momentum going and then complete them.
15. If you procrastinate because you are afraid something will go wrong, start by making a list of everything that could happen. Be as inventive as you can. Now go down your list and cross off everything that really looks rediculous. Read over your list once-in-awhile and you will learn, over time, that most of those things that you worried might happen, didn't happen.
16. Procrastination is sometimes the result of our not being committed to our goal..Sometimes this is because we are not sure we really want the goal. Stop and clarify your objectives. Make sure you are going after the right thing for you. If the goal or objective is not yours, you may want to rethink what you are doing. When we try to meet other people's goals for us, we lose our motivation. We gain the motivation when the goals are ours.
17. Sometimes we procrastinate because we really don't know what to do or how to do it. Maybe you need more education for the job or task you need to do. There are college classes, GED classes, online classes, and community classes you can take to improve your skills. If you see a job you want but you don't have the skills required, jump in and get those skills.
18. Get organized so you can take advantage of momentum. There is nothing worse for a procrastinator then to finally ger started and discover that you don't have everything you need to complete the task. You then have to stop and find whatever it is and then try to start again which wastes more time. Before you start, make sure, as best you can, that you have everything you will need to complete the project. Get started and keep the momentum going until you finish.
Copyright  C  2005 - 2008  Thomas D. Yarnell, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist. All Rights Reserved.
Visit Dr. Yarnell's online store, Self-Help Solutions, containing self improvement and personal growth CDs for adults, adolescents and children.

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Dr. Yarnell has produced many self-improvement and personal growth CDs for adults, teens and children. His ELIMINATE PROCRASTINATION WITH HYPNOSIS program will help you become successful now. Even Newsweek Magazine writes "The easiest way to break bad habits is through hypnosis."

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