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RANDALL-YOUNG: Building motivation and beating procrastination
We probably all, at one time or another (if not all the time) have difficulty motivating ourselves to complete some task or begin a project. Whether it is cleaning the basement or starting an exercise program, we may procrastinate for months, if not years.
This can be very frustrating, because one part of us really wants to begin working towards that goal. There is another part, however, that resist. Why does it resist?
Perhaps the task involves work and the resisting part would just as soon watch television.The task may seem overwhelming, and it seems impossible to even decide where to start.
There are some concrete steps you can take to overcome the inertia of procrastination.
First make a list of the things on which you really want to, or feel you must take some action.
Then, put each one on a separate page. For each one, list the steps that must be taken to get the job done.
Pick the one, or ones you want to start on, and put dates beside each step; the date by which or upon which you will complete that one step. It is much easier to contemplate and complete one step, than thinking about the entire project.
Let’s imagine you are a teenager who needs to clean her room. On Monday, you go through the room and throw away anything that is garbage. On Tuesday, you pick up all the clothes off the floor and furniture, either hanging it up, putting it in a drawer, or into the laundry.
On Wednesday, you put books back on shelves, CDs away, and anything else that needs to be stowed. On Thursday you pull out everything from under the bed and repeat the first three steps with whatever you find there. On Friday, tidy dresser tops and desk tops and the closet if needed.
On Saturday, vacuum and dust. On Sunday, show your parents what you have done!
So, whatever it is you need to do, make a list, commit to dates, and get started. Completing each step will motivate you to take the next one, and before you know it, you have succeeded.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.