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Taking Action

Many people for one reason or another, find taking action difficult. They procrastinate about doing the things they really want to do. Most importantly these are the things that will have a huge impact on their life and turn it around for the better. For sure, they are great at coming up with excuses, but excuses are about the only thing that they do generate.

If you talk to people who procrastinate, they often describe their condition like it is some genetic defect and that it is incurable, save a miracle. If you happen to fall into this category then I have some hard-hitting news for you. Procrastination is nothing more than a bad habit, like nail-biting, and for whatever reasons you are doing it, you are not doomed to a lifetime of procrastination. You can get over it.

There are many effective techniques that have been designed to stop you putting things off, and more importantly they work. I have personally experienced the transformation of ex-procrastinators into hard-workers, simply from using these techniques below.

People who get things done, are also far happier than people who waste time agonising over doing things, but then don't do them. I would estimate that not doing something is easily five times more painful than actually doing it. And once you start, you will often find that you're enjoying yourself.

Procrastinators also lack energy. Brains are curious bits of our anatomy. Using them turns on a positive flow of energy which makes us feel good, and the longer we are absorbed in doing something, the better we feel. Stopping shuts down this flow of energy. Of course brains need a rest as well, but only for ten minutes every hour or two. Worrying about not doing something is exhausting, whereas absorbing yourself in a task is energizing and makes you feel good.

The hardest thing to overcome is getting started and there are several 'taking action' strategies that work. The first is to tell yourself you will only do the task for five minutes. Even the laziest sloth on the planet can usually motivate him or herself to tackle something for this length of time. This is rather sneaky, because once people have got over the pain of starting, they are quite willing to carry on.

It also helps to set yourself goals:

Write down how much you plan to do before a certain time. For example, "I will finish writing chapter 2 before lunch time, only when I have finished chapter 2 will I stop for lunch."

Also write down all the jobs that you need to do in order of importance and do them one by one. Only when you have completed the first task should you go on to the next. It is also better to do the worst job first, then once this is out of the way you will no longer have it hanging over you. This allows you to do the other jobs with an increased sense of relief and satisfaction.

Writing all your jobs down is a really powerful technique for zooming through everything that you need to do and you will get an amazing amount of gratification from ticking each item off. Try this method of taking action for yourself. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much more productive you become.

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Taking Action