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I came across a series of three great articles about beating procrastination.  The premises rang true for me, and I distilled out some useful tips:

Vanquish The Getting-Started Monster

  • When you’re having trouble starting a task, just start it. It will seem much less daunting once you have your feet wet.  Action is the best cure for inaction.

 
Banishing The No-Momentum Monster

  • When you keep losing momentum in the middle of a project, sayI choose my actions, including what I’m not going to do.”  Do you still choose to work on this project?  You have the choice.  Sometimes it helps just reminding yourself that you choose this task, that you want to accomplish it.

 
Flattening The Never-Finishing Monster

  • When you’re almost at the end of a project, but you just can’t seem to finish it off, do a sprint to the finish. Block out the required amount of time (a week, a day, 3 hours), and just focus on getting it done.  Finishing in the alloted time is your goal.  This allows you to side-step all the worries about how your work will be received, next steps, etc. which are probably blocking you from finishing.  Anyway, once it’s done you are in a much better position to evaluate its quality, and you can always go back and tweak it.

 
Alex Fayle, the author and an anti-procrastination coach, has his own anti-procrastination blog at somedaysyndrome.com.  I’ve read a few posts, his guiding principle seems to be that action begets action, that the best way to beat the procrastination habit is to develop the habit of acting.  Makes good sense to me.  I’m sure there’s more too it than that, I’ll be reading more of Alex’s blog in the days to come.

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