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Overcome Procrastination!

Discover how to Motivate Yourself

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Is procrastination a problem? How do you motivate yourself? Is it really possible for you to stop procrastinating and become one of those rare self-motivated people who choose their goals and follow through with their decisions? If so, how?

One way of looking at procrastination is as a lack of motivation, if you're properly motivated, then you don't procrastinate. If a new and interesting potential partner calls, and suggests you have dinner together and your heart lights up then you're unlikely to procrastinate!

So what helps you stop procrastinating? You need to ensure your decision support you! It's crucial to first choose the guiding principle that lies behind your choices. This means adopting an attitude which supports you and your best interests rather than acting against you.

How do you adopt an attitude that works for you? Let's explore how you arrive at the choices you make. When you need to make a decision, which of the answers to these four questions is the most important to you?

Question 1 - Do I feel like doing it?

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One beautiful hot day when I was very young, less than five, I felt like an ice-cream. But I had no money! So I decided to ask a stranger just like I would my parents. The young man I first asked said no, but the second, a lovely lady, smiled and bought me one. It was delicious and I was very grateful.

But when I got home, my mother was appalled, and took the rest of my ice-cream away. I was so upset! My brilliant resourcefulness went unrewarded, instead I was in trouble! The valuable lesson I learned was that it doesn’t always work just to do what you feel like doing.

Question 2 - Do I want to do it?

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pretty young girl working as maid
A gorgeous young woman worked part time at the hall of residence over the historic Clifton suspension bridge where I initially lived at Bristol University. I was smitten the moment I saw her, so I invited her to socialize at the very first opportunity that came along.

When I tried to kiss her, she moved away. So I moved closer. And she moved away again! Every time I got close she moved away as I chased her around the room! She just wasn’t interested in me that way.

But I was far too concerned about what I wanted to see what was actually going on. I didn't take any notice of the totally clear and unambiguous messages she was giving me. I remember feeling so utterly frustrated!

It was my first and last date with her. One of many, many lessons showing me how it doesn't work to rush ahead doing what I want without considering the wishes of others.

Question 3 - Is it me?

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My receptionist Leslie said she wanted to have a holiday overseas one day. This sounded promising, since there was extra work she could do. Yet when I asked her if she was prepared to work to earn the extra money, the answer turned out to be no. Although she wanted to go overseas, she couldn’t see herself working late - after hours. "It's not me," she explained!

Question 4 - Do I want the Results that doing it will bring?

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One warm summer day I was enjoying fresh strawberries as I walked down the street. They were so delicious I couldn’t wait until I got home! Three small children saw me eating them with very evident enthusiasm so I stopped. The boldest asked if she could have one so I gave her one which she ate it with much gusto.

Seeing the success of his sister, the second also asked for one, and also enjoyed his very much. The youngest, a little boy, was very shy, although I could see in his eyes that he wanted one. So I just waited. It seemed like ages, but eventually he plucked up the courage to open his mouth. On the fourth attempt some words came out, ‘May I have one, please’ he said. ‘Of course,’ I replied and rewarded him with a big juicy one.

Now did he feel like asking me? Absolutely not, he was so shy. Nor did he want to go through the process of asking me? Was it him? Also no. But did he want the results that doing it would bring? Yes, absolutely. And steeling himself to do what felt very uncomfortable gave him the results he wanted - a lovely juicy strawberry.

Which of these Four Questions means the most to you?

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So, without even knowing what 'it' is, which of these questions is the most important to you?
  1. Do you feel like doing it? or
  2. Do you want to do it? or
  3. Is it you? or
  4. Do you want the results that doing it will bring?
There's no right answer here, just your answer - one and only one of these four.

Yet the most important question that you choose here will affect your motivation to attain your goals. It's tough to realize your desires when you procrastinate! So what's your default answer? Note that you may need to vary this answer when circumstances require it. Here you’re giving the answer that’s true for you in general.

How do these Questions affect procrastination?

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Overweight woman considering choosing an apple
Now investigate all these four questions. Think deeply, contemplate each one in turn.

Ask yourself what affect does each one have on procrastination?

Which questions will enable you to procrastinate more?

Which one will help you overcome procrastination?

Will the one you have chosen allow you to procrastinate more, or will it help you just get on with it?

If your answers make you want to change your Most Important Question for another, which one would you now choose?

Are these Questions about the Present or the Future?

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What tense are these four questions concerned with?

The tense for the first is the present. The second question? Also the present. The third? The present yet again.

But the fourth question, the last? The future!

So if your answer is one of the first three, it shows you are more concerned about the present, and being comfortable with things right now. If your answer is the fourth question, this says that your concern is what happens in the future. It indicates that you are more concerned about where you will be tomorrow, rather than being comfortable where you are right now.

Some people will revise their answer when they realize this yet, unless they are very aware, revising the answer does not change what they actually choose in practice! So this really is a very important question!

Okay, but what do I do?

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Next time you have a choice to make, first ask yourself your Most Important Question. Remember to listen to your answer. Then act on it!

A while later, check out how well this has worked for you. If it hasn't worked, then revisit this page. Choose yourself another Most Important Question, a different one.

Then ask that instead each time. Remember to listen to your answer. And to act on it...

Repeat until you chose a Most Important Question that does give you the results you want! Then keep asking it, and acting on its answer!

Wanna Reduce your Stress?

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Choose your next step right now:

Food for Thought

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"Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow."

Robert Kiyosaki, world-famous wealth-creating American author of:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad


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