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Category: Procrastination

Overcome Procrastination and Get Things Done

By Joan Clout-Kruse

Are you an acute procrastinator? I was. Fifteen years ago I made a new promise to myself and wrote these words. "I am an introverted, procrastinating perfectionist who is striving to be an extroverted, results-oriented champion."

It was time for me to move on and take charge of my life. I was reading all those wonderful success-oriented books, listening to tapes and going to workshops. I was learning how to discipline myself, achieve my goals, and get rid of that negative behavior that had crept into my life. You know.the "Doubt Syndrome." "I'm not sure I can do it." "It might be too tough for me to start." "Someone else is much better at this than I am." No one else had to criticize me.I was doing a good job all by myself.

Is overcoming procrastination important to you? Do you want to change because you know it is slowing you down from achieving your goals and getting things done?

Does putting things off give you an anxiety attack? Do you get overwhelmed? Many times we hold back from doing the things that will bring us the most success because they are out of our comfort zone-marketing, selling, new computer programs to learn, writing that new book, and much more. The longer we put it off the more stressful we feel about getting it done.

The main reason we put off things is Perfectionism. Preparing a brochure, writing an article, or a report isn't perfect yet in our mind. Yet, you show it to a friend and they think it is terrific.

How do we change? First, we have to WANT (the WILL) to change. We must have a burning desire to change before anything will happen. "Wishful Thinkers" will have to wait. They are not ready yet to make a commitment. I know a lot of people, who want to quit smoking, lose weight, or write a book. They talk about it. They know what they have to do to achieve that goal. Nothing happens because they are just wishful thinkers. They love to talk about it because it makes them feel like they are doing something about it--they are "thinking."

Here is a guide that can work for you to stop or cut down on the "2 Ps" in your life: Procrastination and Perfectionism.

1. Identify one area where procrastination haunts you-i.e. you keep avoiding it.

2. Write down the ultimate Goal for this procrastinating task.

3. Break it into small easy steps that you can identify.

4. Prioritize the small steps in #3.

5. Identify any potential problems and be prepared in advance to combat them (very important step to your success).

6. Give yourself deadlines and promise to keep them.

7. Keep on going. Do not let difficult problems get in the way.

8. That writing project, article, or report may not have to be perfect if the content is valuable to the recipient. If you just have to have the book perfect send it to an editor after you finish your first imperfect draft. Let someone else do the editing and you can make the recommended changes and corrections to your writing project and get that feeling of relief that only a procrastinating perfectionist knows.

Don't let perfectionism paralyze you. Keep on going. Pretend it is perfect if you get stuck. Don't stop if it is not perfect or you will never get anything done. And above all, reserve private time to write and avoid interruptions during this time. Your success in combating the 2 Ps in your life means you will achieve your goals.

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Are you stuck with a specific goal or writing project that is important to you? Contact Joan Clout-Kruse, the 90-Day Book Writers' Coach at to get you back on track. Finish writing your book in 90-Days is available for the serious-minded, committed writer. Contact Joan at 650 759-2042 or check out her Web site at to get your book done fast.

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