Procrastination

Three Powerful Words to Overcome Your Procrastination

By embracing this new mindset, you can avoid the pain of procrastination

Posted Dec 12, 2014

Prior to writing this post, I searched the word "procrastination" on Google and found about 13,600,000 results. That tells me that you are certainly not alone if you have procrastination tendencies. I've been there too. But I found that I can beat procrastination if I avail myself to focusing on just three words: Do It Anyway!

I wonder if writing this post about only three words to overcome procrastination is a bit audacious on my behalf? After all, so many others have written about this important topic. Well, please hear that I have no intention to show an imprudent lack of respect for all the great articles and books about overcoming procrastination. 

My concern, however, is that the approaches out there for beating procrastination seem to be exclusively strategically and tactically focused. In synthesizing what  is commonly written about overcoming procrastination, these appear to be the key points:

  • For large tasks, break them down into smaller parts.
  • Set a timer to motivate yourself.
  • Promise yourself a reward.
  • Chart your progress.
  • Challenge your perfectionistic expectations.

Obviously, the five points above are a simplified summary. And, don't get me wrong! These are valuable strategies—but only if you first have the right mindset to execute them. All the anti-procrastination strategies in the world will not be initially and sustainably effective, without you having an activating  mindset.

Do It Anyway is the missing mindset that fills the gap between wanting to overcome procrastination and actually feeling to motivated to employ the above strategies. Do It Anyway, tells you that the time is now!  I by no means have escaped the clutches of procrastination. But when I begin to procrastinate, these three words, Do It Anyway, are very powerful to "get myself" to do things.

I am currently engaged in a lengthy writing project and find the magic of "Do It Anyway" to be immensely helpful. By thinking about those three words, I do not give myself the unhealthy luxury to ponder about whether or not I feel motivated to write. I just do it anyway. 

Thinking Do It Anyway will vanquish your excuses. You know what I am referring to. I am talking about getting past those motivation jamming thoughts like: 

  • "I'm too tired for this." (So what. Maybe you are tired, Get going anyway!)
  • "I just can't get motivated." (Just do it anyway and don't worry about getting motivated!)
  • "I just don't know where to start." (Don't worry about where you will start, just start anyway!)

Think about those alternatives to your procrastination laden thoughts as shown above. Practice thinking and saying to yourself, "Do It Anyway."  

What are you waiting for?  Even if you think this is dumb, overly simplistic, or destined to fall short because "It probably won't work for me", why not give it a try? Do it anyway! 

 

Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein is a psychologist with over 23 years of experience specializing in child, adolescent, couples, and family therapy.  He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and completed his post-doctoral internship at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Center. He has appeared on the Today Show, Court TV as an expert advisor, CBS Eyewitness News Philadelphia, 10! Philadelphia—NBC, and public radio. Dr. Bernstein has authored four books, including the highly popular 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (Perseus Books, 2006), 10 Days to a Less Distracted Child (Perseus Books 2007), Why Can't You Read My Mind? , and Liking the Child You Love, Perseus Books 2009). You can also follow him on Twitter

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