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Chapter 12. The Secret Formula to Overco... > Ten Sure-Fire Strategies for Getting... - Pg. 126

The Secret Formula to Overcoming Procrastination 126 Quicksand! Beware of losing touch with people and ideas when you're trying to get things done. Isolation only en- courages procrastination. · Admit to someone that you're having a problem getting something done. Not only might that person have some helpful advice for how you can get it done, the mere confession that you're struggling also can work wonders. · Have someone talk you through the steps involved in what it is you need to do. Or have someone listen while you talk yourself through them. This technique is especially helpful if you're in the middle of a complex project or working slowly toward a major goal and lose sight of what you want to, or need to, be doing next. · Consult and confer with people in a position to advise you or offer solid strategy. They might be some of the professionals described in Chapter 7, "Rallying Support from the Pros," or anyone else who knows something about what it is you're trying to do. · Ask for handholding. You might benefit from simply having another warm body keep you com- pany and cheer you on while you clean out your closet, go through your files, or do whatever it is that you find to be a lonely or boring task. As you can see from those examples, getting connected can mean anything from emotional support as you trudge through a chore to having someone else do the task. It might also mean connecting with people who can serve primarily as sources of information and advice. Use whichever method of connection works for you and the task you're facing. Strategy #7: Use positive self-talk As I've discussed in previous chapters, the messages that play in your head have a great deal of power over your behavior. When you give in to negative emotions, irrational thoughts, and destruc- tive self-talk, you open the floodgates to procrastination. An important strategy that works for just about every procrastination situation is to play more positive messages in your head. You start by substituting positive thoughts for negative ones, then you learn to speak a new internal language to make your self-talk more likely to lead to action. I like to think of it as having my self- talk play on compact disc instead of cassette tape. CDs are clearer, sharper, and easier to use than cassettes. Self-talk on cassette tapes I don't think I can do that. I can't get that done on time. I'm not the kind of person who does X. I'm afraid I won't do this well enough. I should do that. I can't see myself doing that. Self-talk on CDs I know it seems difficult now, but I can get it done. If I make this a priority, I can get it done on time. I used to be a procrastinator, but now I'm the type of person who gets X done. It doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to get done. Do I really have to do that? If not, I don't need to feel guilty for not doing it. I can visualize myself starting and finishing it as if I were watch- ing myself on videotape.