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Tired of putting things off? - Put an end to procrastination today



I've been planning to write a novel for the last twenty years. I keep putting it off. Best-selling author John Grisham wrote his first novel while working full-time as an attorney; he was as busy as the rest of us, but he found a way to accomplish his dream. How did he do it? He beat procrastination by forcing himself to get up earlier every morning so he could work on his book before he went to work.

Take this quiz to find out if you need to put an end to procrastination:

- Do you write down your priorities? Do some things seem less urgent when you look at them in the light of your priorities?

- Do you ask yourself which of several tasks is the most important one before you decide what task to tackle next?
- Do you accept full responsibility for missing a deadline, rather than blaming it on forces beyond your control?

- Do you focus on finishing a job on time, rather than looking for excuses to explain why you're going to miss another deadline?

- Do you make sure people know when not to disturb you?

- Do you have a habit of turning off the phone when you need to concentrate completely on a job? Do you focus on the job at hand, rather than fretting over what went wrong in the past?

- When you've done your best, do you know when to wrap up a project?-Do you feel that spending more time on it will only keep you from starting your next job?

If you answered "yes" to all of the above questions, congratulations-you're in John Grisham's league. If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, pick one and make a commitment to do something about it today. Ask yourself if you have really considered all the consequences of procrastination. Do you want to live with them forever? Do you have a legitimate reason for postponing jobs? And after thinking about these questions, ask yourself if you delay tasks for justifiable reasons-or if you just make excuses to procrastinate. Here's what I've learned to do:

- Always remind yourself that you have as much time as people who do great things.

- Make your best estimate of how much time a task will take.

- Write an inspirational phrase on a 3 x 5 card and use it whenever the procrastination monster pops up.

Shakespeare said, "Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried." You've taken the first step to defeat procrastination by reading this article; now take the next step and tackle a job you know you should have started a long time ago. I took my next step this morning-I got up earlier than usual to start my novel.







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