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How to beat procrastination - Stop gathering information!
Why do we miss deadlines, put off doing things we dislike, and accept stress and procrastination as a necessary part of life? What experiences have shaped the way you think about time? Do you need to rethink your views? If you were asked to speak to a group of students about the best way to use time, what would you say to them?
This quiz will help you identify areas where you can take action to overcome procrastination today:
- I often delay taking action and making decisions because I need to gather more facts.
- I have a hard time knowing when to wrap up the research phase of a project. I worry about not having enough information to complete it.
- I tend to get stuck in the middle of a project if changing circumstances suggest the need to make adjustments.
- I always feel that I'm using my time well as long as I'm gathering information for a project.
If you answered "yes" to any of the above statements, you need to recognize that procrastination is keeping you from achieving all that you can in life. Many people delay taking action by convincing themselves they need to gather more facts. Successful people know that effective decisions are based on opinions and experience first, facts second.
Set deadlines for yourself, even when you don't have to. You will never be able to gather all the facts. You must learn when to say enough. Make the best decision based on the facts you have now. The important thing is to act. We live in an increasingly complex world; our information-gathering techniques can't keep up with all the changing circumstances that affect our lives. We cannot control many of these circumstances, and we cannot control how other people respond to them.
Force yourself to act. Whatever decision we make today, we will have to rethink it-and almost certainly modify it-when circumstances change. No matter what you decide to do now, you will need to make corrections as you make progress toward your goal. Delaying a decision in order to gather more facts is one of the most common ways that people waste time.
Always ask yourself if a task needs to be done at all. The Bible says, "How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove?" Ask yourself: What do all my tasks prove? Focus on getting things done, rather than on filling your day with more activities than you can possibly get around to. If you want to overcome procrastination, stop gathering facts and get started on your project.
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