I know I’ve been giving you a lot of suggestions lately for things I know will improve your life. The ideas seem easy enough but actually getting yourself to do these things can be tricky. Our old friend procrastination is getting in the way again.
People procrastinate for different reasons. The task may seem too difficult or you’re afraid you’ll fail or you just really don’t like doing that kind of thing. But … it’s on your to-do list because what you get out of completing the task is what you want. So, let’s focus on that.
In Neil Fiore’s book, The Now Habit, he emphasizes paying attention to our language. If you keep saying to yourself and others that you “need” to get something done or “should” be working on this or that, you make it sound like such a chore. When you say “Need” or “must”, you are essentially telling yourself that you don’t have a choice, that you are forced to do this thing. And when we don’t feel like we have choices and control, we rebel. So tell yourself “I want to do this” which mentally places you in control—you have chosen to do it. You may not like the task itself that much but in changing how you talk about it you aren’t saying you like the work but rather that you “want” the outcome. If you focus on what you want and not what you dread, it’s so much easier to do because it’s associated with something positive and desirable.
Now, if you spend a lot of time saying “I should get that done” you’re just reprimanding yourself–”You should get it done because you haven’t yet and who knows if you ever will!” This can make you depressed as you’re bound to agree with your inner voice. Nothing will get done that way.
Change it to “I want to get that done.” That adds a positive note and the sense that completing the task is something you desire. Stating our desires is usually followed up by the question “How am I going to get what I want?” so that you are more likely to figure out how and when you’ll have time to get it done. And next thing you know, you’re doing it!
So next time you’re faced with a dreaded project or looming task, just say, “Here is something I want to do and I can’t wait to get it done!” and see how much more you get accomplished and how much easier it seems to do it!
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