The Secret Formula to Overcoming Procrastination My sister and I once won a free pair of snow skis. We couldn't decide which length would be better for us in terms of our level of experience and the amount we ski. It's now been two years, and my sister still hasn't called to claim the skis. I imagine it's now too late to get them. --Rebecca R., graduate student 121 After you've pushed the pause button on that imaginary video of yourself, imagine you're examining what you see on the screen as though you were looking for a movie prop that was out of place or something else you couldn't catch when the video was playing. Do the same in real life. Literally look around for distractions or missing information that's keeping you from taking action. When you've identified what's getting in your way, think about what you can do to remove the road- blocks. Take some time to clear out and organize the clutter, remove the distractions, get comfort- able, or find the information and guidance you need. Listen The next step is to listen to what's going on in your head. As you may have read in Chapter 4, "It's All In Your Head," your thoughts, feelings, and internal messages (self-talk) drive your actions. Those games your mind plays that give you the excuse to put off something is the psychology of procrastination. To put an end to those games, ask yourself these three questions and listen closely to the answers. 1. What am I feeling?Am I giving in to fear or feelings of inadequacy about the task that lies before me? Am I feeling overwhelmed when it's not necessary to feel that way? Am I feeling pressured to get this done by a certain time or in a certain way? Am I bored or tired? What am I thinking?Are my thoughts irrational, unreasonable, inaccurate, or self-sabotaging? 2.