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Overcome procrastination and start living a richer life today
- Do you tend to look for excuses to explain why you didn't do something, rather than take action to finish the job?
- Is there a good reason why you didn't finish the job?
- How important is finishing the job?
- Have you written down a plan for finishing it as soon as possible?
Stop blaming failures on the circumstances around you. The next time you hear yourself making excuses, it may help to remember what the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said about the predicaments procrastinators get themselves into: "It takes less time to do a thing right than explain why you did it wrong."
Do you see yourself as a victim of events and circumstances? Do you complain more than other people? What do you do when you procrastinate? How do you spend your time when you've decided not to do something you should do? Are you serious about wanting to change? Are there hidden causes of your procrastination that you need to discover?
Procrastinators are always able to find reasons for not getting started. To take control of your life, you have to accept responsibility for everything that happens with your projects. When you fail, analyze what happened and ask yourself if you could have produced a better outcome by doing something differently. This will improve your ability to successfully complete the next project, and you'll be ready to take the first step to get started on it. Identify what needs to be done and do it now-circumstances will never be perfect for starting the job.
The only way to break out of the vicious circle of procrastination is by asking hard questions. We are not victims of our circumstances. You can do the things that need to be done. And you can learn to distinguish between the things that need to be done now and the things that can wait. Whenever you consider delaying a project, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the benefits of waiting?
- Do I have a justifiable reason for postponing this project?
- Do I want to go on living with the consequences of leaving things undone?
Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you're delaying a task for a justifiable reason. Put all your reasons for wanting to delay the project under a microscope; consider the possibility that your reasons are merely excuses for not getting started. Think about the last time you delayed a project. What benefits did you expect to receive by waiting? Write them down. Now ask yourself how the project came out. Did the project benefit from the delay?
Justifiable reasons-or if you're just making excuses. What would have happened if you had pushed forward on the project anyway? And always remind yourself of what Napoleon Hill said about waiting: "Do not wait. The time will never be just right."
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