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Win the war against procrastination - The battle begins in your mind

Mark Twain had something to say about almost any topic you can imagine. On the subject of how to avoid procrastination, Twain said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." Everyone can enjoy the humor in Twain's comment. But for many of us, Twain's insight on the danger of procrastination is painfully true.

You can take the first step toward a more satisfying life by getting serious about overcoming procrastination. And the place to get started is in your own mind-that's where the war is won or lost. To overcome procrastination, you have to change your attitude. All successful people know that you have a better chance of completing a job when you approach it with a positive attitude:

- Your attitude is a choice. Many people procrastinate because they tell themselves that they will increase their chances of success if they wait for all the circumstances to be "right" before tackling a project. To be successful, you must force yourself to make a decision and do something no matter what the circumstances say.

- Your attitude determines the outcome of your actions. People who are successful at what they do are rarely those with the greatest natural ability or the highest IQ. People who are constantly able to complete jobs successfully have a positive attitude-they believe they can complete the job.

- You cannot control the past, so move on. Thinking about how you might have responded differently to a difficult problem in the past is an important part of preparing to be a better problem-solver today. Analyze what you could have done differently, chalk it up to experience, and then forget about it.
The following quiz will help you identify areas where you can take action today. Answer "yes" to each statement that describes you.

1. I don't wait for the "right" set of circumstances to tackle a job-I know the circumstances will never be perfect.

2. I believe my project will be successful if I give it my best effort.

3. When I fail, I don't blame circumstances beyond my control; I ask myself what I could have done differently to bring about a different result.

4. I don't fret over decisions once I've made them-I stay focused on what I'm doing in the present.

5. I know when to wrap up a job-if I spend more time on it I'm only making up excuses for not starting something new.

If you answered "no" to any of the above statements, make a commitment to change your attitude today. Choose one item and do something about it. Don't move on to the next item until you can truthfully answer "yes" to the previous one. "Be not the slave of your own past," Ralph Waldo Emerson said. Cut the chains of procrastination and start living life to the fullest.


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