Whether it’s paying a parking ticket, picking up the dry cleaning or organizing your bedroom closet, we’ve all put off doing certain things. When it comes managing responsibilities, most people stay on track but if you are like me, the track is a road we choose to avoid.

.We are what you call bona fide procrastinators.We live in a constant state of denial and recovery; not thinking of long-term consequences resulted from short-term dismissals. We are the little devil perched on the shoulders of reason. If we were a fragrance our name would be Self Sabotage and our slogan: ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. You get the idea.
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As fun as it is to avoid responsibility (and it really is), tomorrow always comes sooner than we expect and reality quickly replaces frivolity. Talk about a buzz kill.
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There is a certain irony with procrastination that is comical. Things we put off doing right away accumulate to the point of unmanageability and our feelings of anxiety actually increase, which is why we procrastinated to begin with.
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Have you ever put off paying your auto registration only to learn that your bill increased drastically because you waited so long to take care of it? How about having serious dental work because you failed to maintain regular cleanings? The older we get, the more responsibly creeps in, and careless thinking can lead to pricey consequences.
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So why procrastinate? Studies show there are psychological connections between putting off tasks and the way we feel about ourselves. Fear of failure and lack of confidence play a pivotal role in how a person manages their responsibilities. And some would just call it being plain lazy.
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Whatever your reasons, it’s good to know procrastination is a behavior that can be changed. Here are some suggestions to help you go from dreading the future to celebrating your accomplishments.
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Give yourself a break
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Life may be a box of chocolates, but it can also be quite hard. Balancing career with family, health with hormones and finances with free time is all practiced tightrope walking in our own Cirque de soleil of lessons. No one is a super hero; so don’t expect yourself to be. Set small goals and reward yourself for attaining them.
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Create new habits and save money
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If you are the type of person who waits until the last-minute to pay bills (in procrastination world, that equals late payments) set reminders for yourself to pay them on time every month. You will be amazed how much money you save avoiding unnecessary charges. Creating new habits like scheduling your tasks instead of simply remembering you need to do them will make a difference in your wallet.
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Limit your surfing time
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For procrastinators, it’s very easy to get lost in cyberspace. What starts out as checking your emails and Facebook account can quickly turn in to wasted hours surfing the web. If reading CNN, Perez Hilton or personal blogs are part of your daily routine, give yourself a time limit. As soon as your morning coffee is finished, so is your Internet surfing.
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Get real and start feeling good about yourself
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Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It’s also a form of self-sabotage. As tempting as it is to push tasks aside, the sooner you face the music the better. Telling yourself things like “I will do this tomorrow” and “I work best under pressure” is really just a way of avoiding the truth. The truth is you have real responsibilities and the longer you wait; the more these tasks pile up. When you start being responsible for your life instead of playing catch up, something truly gratifying happens. Your reality shifts from doom to delightful and you start feeling good about yourself.
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Walk it out
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We all know walking is beneficial to your overall health, but did you know it could also lighten your mood and improve sleep? Studies show walking releases natural pain­killing end­or­phins to the body. This not only helps you whistle while you work through that task list, but your stress will ease up. Being well rested and happy will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Taking just 20 minutes a day for a walk will help you get organized and stay focused.
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Ask for help
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Changing negative habits is not easy and for some people, it feels down right impossible. If you are a chronic procrastinator and are also feeling depressed or helpless, it is a good idea to seek professional help. Things like cognitive behavioral therapy can work wonders and be very successful in helping you realize the reasons why you sabotage yourself in certain ways.
We all have the power to live our best lives. If procrastination is affecting yours, decide to make a change. It can be the first thing you chose not to put off today.
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“Procrastination is like masturbation; in the end you’re just screwing yourself”

18 comments

  1. I wrote a blog post on this, called "Portrait of the Artist in Repose". In it I compared my saying, "I'm procrastinating" to Picasso's saying, "I'm painting." I'm practically a procrastination savant.And you're right; it is both influenced by and has significant impact on my self-esteem. Thanks for this reminder!

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  2. I'm going to jump right on that.Tomorrow.You knew some smartass was going top say it, didn't you?Juggling responsibilities with enjoyment in life can be a real challenge. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to free yourself up by just saying no.

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  3. i'm convinced that my procrastinating is what got me As in college. when i procrastinate, the pressure skyrockets; i write better under pressure, and since i was an english major…that being said, procrastination isn't really healthy for real-world situations. thanks for the post, i appreciated the tips!

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  4. @DeNae – I love that! I must read your post! "Procrastination Savant". brilliant. Thanks for the comment. 🙂 @FragrantLiar – I knew you'd be just the gal to say it, too. Hee hee…@Alexis – You and I are very much alike. My college was the stripper pole, but I didn't really kick my ass (literally) in to hear until the end of the month when rent was due. I was the same way in working best under pressure!@Jon – Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Jon. There is a fine line between procrastination and working well under pressure isn't there? I am still one to 'kick it up a notch' when I am pressured.

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  5. I love your post. Quite informative! And several points that I should implement into my daily routine. I thank you for the reminder!I have a plaque in my dressing room that says "Better Living Through Denial":-)

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  6. Hi Christine!I'm back from a family vacation and what an appropriate post for me to read. Girl, I think you just kicked me in the ass!I've had my back to the full suitcases and the laundry as I sit here, catching up with all my blog friends. I've only now got one hour until I have to pick up kids. A day of procrastination! I better go start that housework now!I'm glad to be back and ignoring my laundry.

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  7. @F8Hasit – Thanks girlie! LOVE that sign you have. I've missed you! xxoo@Joann – You and I are so much alike, it's scary. :)@I'mJane – Um yea. I still can't find mine… It's so nice to know I am not alone!

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  8. I love the quote at the end. Perfect.I only procrastinate with things that I don't know how to do, or that I am afraid of.Everything else, I attack head on and immediatley. I will think myself to death if I have too much outstanding to do!Great ideas!

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  9. Ha, I loved that last bit, just hilarious. I'm an awful procrastinator. I tell myself that I just like working under pressure (which I actually do) but mostly it just stems from not feeling like it and coming up with some better time wasting thing to do. I've learned to manage it for the most part though, I give myself cut-off dates for when I have to stop procrastinating and actually get things done, it sorta works, I guess.

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  10. @Dainelle – Putting off things we are afraid of is something I do too. Then again, I put everything off! I like the quote too. 🙂 @Christopher – I always tell myself I work best under pressure and it's true. The problem is that I use that little loop hole to avoid stuff!

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  11. I LOVE the comparison of procrastination and masturbaton. So true!! I put my bills off. I guess I am waiting for Ed McMahon to show up on my door step, with my extremely large check. Considering he is dead, Iguess we know what the chances of that happening is……..

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  12. For some reason your blogs don't show up on my blogroll. I'm sorry I've missed your past entries.For some reason I just can't clean my room or car. I just keep putting it off and the piles keep growing and growing. Luckily we have cleaners or my room would be a total disaster.

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