Wiki says that procrastination or “task aversion” is the irrational delay of an intended course of action, even while expecting to be worse off for the delay (compare temporisation). I think the key term here is irrational because there really is not reason to put things off that you know you will have to do eventually.

The Internet has many things to say about proctastination (in fact, searching for those items and blogging are both methods I use to procrastinate!) There is structured procrastination, overcoming procrastination, and good and bad procrastination but eventually the 11th hour arives and you just have to do it. That’s when you look at you, now very large, pile of things to do and struggle to maintain composure as you slowly and painfully begin to chip away at it.

I think the key is to avoid procrastination not to overcome it. This can be achieved by (1) simply starting and (2) keeping a schedule. These seem like simple things but then again so is all of psychology and self-help put together. There is an entire industry pumping out materials on how to better your life and they will never end, because people want to know the secret shortcut to happiness.

Although there is no shortcut, you can “simply start”. Any project that must be done has to be started at some point and starting is the hardest part — so get that part done early and you’re half way there.

The second piece is the harder one because keeping a schedule is not something that’s part of our every day pattern.  But wait, don’t you have a schedule at work?  Don’t you spend time on Monday to line up all your meetings, calls, appointments, and work related events?  And some of you may even do the same with your personal life (egads!)  You plan out the weekend and plan future dinners with friends.  So why not just keep on a roll and plan out your projects as well.  I’ve found that I get almost nothing done on the weekend unless I add it to me “To Do” list before hand.  Every weekend I make a list of all the things I would like to get done.  I don’t always finish them all, but without it I would get almost none of them done.

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