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Chapter 3. Blame It on the Environment > Environmental Hazards - Pg. 22

Blame It on the Environment 22 You're Not Alone "I think I was marked for life as a procrastinator when I saw Gone with the Wind as a young man and heard Scarlett O'Hara say, "I'll think of it all tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day." --Scott T., dentist · You might not have a genetic predisposition to avoid housework (then again, you might!); you just don't feel like stooping down to fish around under the kitchen sink for all the cleaning sup- plies. You particularly don't want to reach for the sponge that always gets hidden behind the pipes where water leaks and where who knows what kind of creepy crawlers reside. So you put off housework until a later time because there are just too many steps involved to get to the actual cleaning. · The reason you're not finishing a project at work may not be that you have a fear of failure, fear of success, or any other fancy psychological hang up. It could simply be that the disarray of papers and files that have accumulated on your desk makes it difficult to keep track of where you are in the project or the information you need to finish. Action Tactic Next time you're sitting on the couch or lying in bed and don't want to get up to take care of some task, tell yourself to just stand up and stretch, with no expectation that you'll do anything more than that. You may be surprised to find that simple motion propels you into more movement and even into completing the dreaded task. · You don't necessarily want to put off your income tax preparation until the last minute because of some deep seated resentment toward the IRS (though that's a likely reason!). Instead, you might have to put it off because your life is overwhelmed with commitments and obligations that occupy every free minute of your waking hours until April 15. When clutter, disorganization, an overload of commitments, or other distractions get in the way, the link between thought and action becomes weak. These obstacles break the momentum that's nee- ded to get an object into motion. (That object is you, lying on the couch, staring blankly into space at your desk, or in some other state of inertia.) The obstacles give us a chance to pause or make excuses. We say things like, "But if I'm going to do C, I'll have to do A and B first, and that's a real hassle, so I'll do C another time." Environmental Hazards The obstacles that cause procrastination come in three easy to remember categories: · People · Places