You Made The Choice of Procrastination!

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Every action we take is made based on the decisions we make. We make these decisions ourselves (even if unconsciously). So the first thing you need to know about why you procrastinate is that..

You procrastinate because you choose to.

Yes, it is your fault. There you go, now you know the big secret. Now you simply need to choose NOT to procrastinate and you would have beaten procrastination. You are welcome.

Jokes aside, do think about it. Whenever you push a task aside and spend your efforts on some trivial distraction instead, isn't it because at that moment in time you rather procrastinate than get down to work? You chose to not get the important tasks done, you chose to procrastinate.

Now that you realize that your procrastination is your choice, you can turn it around any time you want. All you need to do is choose to do so.

You need to make a choice.

But I hear you, choosing not to procrastinate is easier said than done.

So why do we choose to procrastinate?

Let's imagine for a moment that the decision of action vs procrastination is made based on a weighing scale with each decision on separate ends of the scale. Whichever side that weighs more in the end emerges victorious and is the behavior that we exhibit.

I was part of the school basketball team on the last year of high school. I remember myself often wanting to improve my game so much and wanting to hit the gym during my free time but somehow I always ended up in front of the computer battling aliens and fighting dragons in a fantasy world.

I really wanted to be good at basketball but I did not get much better, not without hitting the gym and training my basketball skills. Why didn't I simply do what I was supposed to do so that I could get what I wanted?
On one side of the weighing scale, I had the decision of action - the decision to train and improve my basketball skills. It was motivated by:

• The pleasure of action - If I trained, I would have got better at the sport I love.
• The pain of procrastination - If I didn't train, I would never improve my skills and thus would not play well for the team. This would affect the performance of the whole team and the possibility of us losing games increased. Did I mention that I hated losing?

This side of the weighing scale is looking pretty dam attractive, right? Then why did I still procrastinate?!

Let's examine the other end of the scale, the decision of procrastination which is motivated by:

• The pain of action - The pain of physical training and all that hard work on the court after a long day of school. The way my body ached the next morning after rigorous physical training. Oh yea, let's not forget the pain of not being able to play all those awesome video games.
• The pleasure of procrastination - Who doesn't love just kicking back and relax on a big armchair while smashing bad guys and saving the world with a keyboard?

Well, the odds look pretty even right? Then why did the demon called procrastination win? The answer lies in the time frame.

The rewards of procrastination are immediate. In this fast-paced world that we live in, we want everything to be fast. We want faster cars, faster computers, faster Internet speed and faster results. And procrastination gives us almost immediate gratification. There is no way taking action stands a chance against it because the results of taking action is too distant. It takes time to get better at the sport as it takes practice.

Moreover, while the rewards of taking action is so distant, the pain of taking action is immediate. I could feel the burn in my muscles as I exercised. I could also feel the queasiness in my stomach which made me want to puke when I did sprints up and down the court. Let's not forget the aching body that happened the next day. The pain of procrastination, on the other hand, is so remote. It hides and dwells in a dark corner in the far future and thus makes it so easy for us to ignore it.

Now can you see how procrastination is so seductive?

Unfortunately, human beings can be so short-sighted and we need to be able to 'bring the future forward' so that we can see the rewards of action before it happens and let it motivate us forward. This is where visualization works its magic.

Another way around is we need to rewire our thinking to link procrastination to more pain and action to more pleasure. I could have constantly remind myself that the burn that I felt during exercise means that my body was getting stronger and I was becoming a better player. Just because I did not see the rewards did not mean that the rewards were not happening. And as I sat on that chair playing video games, my muscles were deteriorating and my basketball skills were slowly slipping away..

Just wanting the results is not good enough. We need to want the journey that leads to it. And if we want the journey, we will walk down the road willingly and easily, appreciating every single step. This is effortless motivation at work.
Look at the greatness of Michael Jordan, the flair that he exhibited during games led him to his fame but his career and success was built on his fiery passion during practice hours.

Of course, it is easier said than done. Conscious thinking takes.. conscious effort. Most importantly, it takes practice and trust me, it gets easier. Before you know it, you will be summoning effortless motivation at your will like clockwork.

But I told you, didn't I. Before that can happen, you first need to make a choice.
#choice #made #procrastination
  • Profile picture of the author WFAlex
    Interesting thoughts regarding the time frame...you're right, procrastinating gives instant rewards! Never thought of it that way...how did you come up with it? Thanks for sharing
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    • Profile picture of the author Haoting Chow
      Originally Posted by WFAlex View Post

      Interesting thoughts regarding the time frame...you're right, procrastinating gives instant rewards! Never thought of it that way...how did you come up with it? Thanks for sharing
      Hey, I am not too sure how I came up with it as I have thought of it as this way for quite a while.

      I think I just came to that conclusion from a mixture from Tony Robbin's teachings of choices made due to pleasure vs pain and Tad Jame's teaching about Timeline Therapy in NLP.

      Hope this article serves you and gives you some perspective!
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  • Profile picture of the author Patho
    Love your article man...I think every human deals with this evil demon...especially in the online marketing world...There needs to be something that gets you going..

    It can be your dreams, goals, visualization and more...
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    • Well, I was going to choose to procrastinate, but then I put off making that choice.

      [Kidding!]
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  • Profile picture of the author ckdaro
    You're totally right Hoating, procrastination is our choice. Another reason why people choose to procrastinate (this includes me) is because we get overwhelmed by the amount of work that we need to do, so we just end up doing nothing.

    A great way to combat this is by splitting up your tasks in to chunks to make it easier to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Broyde
    I think that procrastination also comes from believing deep down inside that you are somehow misguided and not actually on the correct path to where you want your activity to lead you. If you can get confidence about your direction a lot of the procrastination will melt away.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kathy Bell
      Originally Posted by Broyde View Post

      I think that procrastination also comes from believing deep down inside that you are somehow misguided and not actually on the correct path to where you want your activity to lead you. If you can get confidence about your direction a lot of the procrastination will melt away.
      I think your point is very well taken. If you have a solid plan that you really believe in and resonates with you, it is much easier to get to work and avoid procrastinating. There are various reasons why we might procrastinate, but chief among them is when there is resistance to what we think we should be doing. Lack of confidence is a huge barrier.
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    • Profile picture of the author Haoting Chow
      Originally Posted by Broyde View Post

      I think that procrastination also comes from believing deep down inside that you are somehow misguided and not actually on the correct path to where you want your activity to lead you. If you can get confidence about your direction a lot of the procrastination will melt away.
      Yes, this happens what you think you want an outcome but deep down your subconscious does not want that outcome.

      Some of us procrastinate due to the fear of failure but there is one other thing that some of us suffer from that we may not have considered..

      The Fear of Completion.

      Sometimes we get stuck in a project for extended periods of time because we do not know what to do next once the project is done. At least now we are working on something and staying 'busy'.

      It boils down to the Fear of Uncertainties. We prefer things to be predictable and when we finish a project, we do not know what to do the next morning. The idea of being lost and misguided can be daunting sometimes.

      It is important that we ask ourselves deep down what mental obstacles are we facing subconsciously that is preventing us from taking the necessary actions needed.

      Sometimes we are just not ready for ALL the consequences of our actions. If we want go out for a jog everyday, we may like the idea of being healthy and fit but is there any unfavourable consequences that is persuading you to do otherwise?

      Do you have a close friend or family member with a negative mindset that unfortunately knows how to push your buttons and tends to poke fun at you for trying too hard? Or is the idea that you have to KEEP JOGGING everyday in order to stay fit and healthy still deemed as an unfavourable consequence that you need to change your perspective about?

      Increase your self-awareness and examine yourself and your surroundings. Find out if there are any knots in your subconscious mind that are holding their shackles on you and preventing you from taking action!
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    I agree, it is your fault that you chose to fail.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Excellent article thanks for sharing..

    One way to help in taking action is to eliminate all distractions i.e. sell your games, tv etc

    Cheers,

    Gary Ning Lo
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  • Profile picture of the author Franko Ferencic
    Great thoughts Haoting! Procrastination is well known to me also. I've procrastinated many time in my life and I am well aware, I lost so much quality time I could better invest in things which would benefit my life! I realized only and effective thing to fight procrastination and to get out of my comfort zone is to find a reason. To find and have big dreams and goals. That burning desire to do something will make procrastination go away! You know, when you feel butterfly's in your stomach or when thinking about your dreams makes you feel tears in your eyes. So in order to fight procrastination I need something that I want so much that I am prepared to sacrifice everything to get it! I've finally found it. I've found a tool to achieve my dreams. It's internet marketing and it forced me going out from my couch and TV to do thing which will help me to have a life worth of living. To be better, positive and healthier person :-).

    All the best to everybody,

    Franko
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    I'd like permission to post this on my blog and of course credit you. Let me know if that's okay and where to link back to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author gcozzens
      I used to be a massive procrastinator - confusing activity with progress... Here's how I resolved it.
      1. Resolve yourself to make consistent progress every day - no matter how small. This keeps the train moving.
      2. Schedule an amount of time to train, work, play every day and hold yourself to it. Have hard stops for each.
      3. Start each day with a plan and follow it.
      4. I had to work so hard at this, I wrote a book about it. You can have it for free - download it here
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Elss
        Originally Posted by gcozzens View Post

        I used to be a massive procrastinator - confusing activity with progress... Here's how I resolved it.
        1. Resolve yourself to make consistent progress every day - no matter how small. This keeps the train moving.
        2. Schedule an amount of time to train, work, play every day and hold yourself to it. Have hard stops for each.
        3. Start each day with a plan and follow it.
        4. I had to work so hard at this, I wrote a book about it. You can have it for free - download it here
        Great advice. The more you practice busting away from procrastination the better you will get at it. The reason I say busting away is because that is what it feels like to me. Something that just holds you back, holds you down tight. Being able to break free little by little each day will make you feel much better as you will be accomplishing so much more in this short life time. You will find yourself starting to take action easier and easier each day whether it be with your business, exercise or building a new deck. I still procrastinate too much myself but also feed off my success of breaking free from it and will only keep getting stronger , as long as I stay consistent. Thanks for the free download gcozzens.
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    • Profile picture of the author Haoting Chow
      Originally Posted by Sean T Alexandre View Post

      I'd like permission to post this on my blog and of course credit you. Let me know if that's okay and where to link back to you.
      Hey Sean, of course! I am most honored if you are willing to post this on your blog!

      This is the link to the original post: You Made The Choice of Procrastination! | Conqueror Publishing

      Everyone and anyone, feel free to post this article anywhere if you think this article would serve your readers! Just remember to credit me with a link.

      If you are an Amazon associate, you may want to promote my kindle book on Amazon to earn some commissions. It is free for download for today too.

      Link to the book: Beat Procrastination: Take Action and Get Things Done Effectively and Immediately (The Warrior Guides): Haoting Chow: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
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  • Profile picture of the author slingingshot15
    I heard Mark Gorman say that our life is a product of two things and two things only and they are the circumstances we have had and the choices we have made.

    Great article there
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  • Profile picture of the author aliveder
    Great post.
    I still suffer from bouts of procrastination.
    I KNOW that I need to get something done, but it is so tedious, and boring, and it feels never ending. This has pushed back many projects in my career. Which is unfortunate.

    I also am very self aware, and begin to fantasize what could have happened if I actually got my butt in gear.

    I am working on it day by day. It is incredibly challenging.

    What I try to do is zone out. At times it works, and I am working automatically while thinking about other more enjoyable moments.
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    • On a more serious note, I think there's another major reason that so many people procrastinate.

      When you actually roll your sleeves up and start doing something, you will inevitably make mistakes. Some of those mistakes may even embarrass you. The result will not be nearly as good as you hoped it would be.

      But guess what? As long as all that work stays in your head, safe from any criticism, the final product still seems to have great potential.

      The bottom line is that you have to learn from mistakes, and that you can't let them paralyze you into procrastination.
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  • Profile picture of the author play2win727
    Great information. I would have to say this is my #1 problem. I seem to wander around this forum just to keep me from doing the hard work of IM. Time to get to work! Thanks for the article.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    If I make the choice of procrastination, then I can make the choice to choose again!
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeac
    Excellent Post! Procrastination is one of the main evils that people have that deter their success. If humans realized if they put aside all the things that are distractions they would be much farther along in life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarmila
    I love the part where you said, "Just wanting the results is not good enough. We need to want the journey that leads to it. And if we want the journey, we will walk down the road willingly and easily, appreciating every single step. This is effortless motivation at work." That's the key right there, isn't it? We can become so goals-focused that the way to achievement can seem like work, when in reality that's where the greatest joy and satisfaction exist! So instead of motivating ourselves with a dangling carrot of a goal, we might all try motivating ourselves with the pleasure of the process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Haoting Chow
    On a more serious note, I think there's another major reason that so many people procrastinate.

    When you actually roll your sleeves up and start doing something, you will inevitably make mistakes. Some of those mistakes may even embarrass you. The result will not be nearly as good as you hoped it would be.

    But guess what? As long as all that work stays in your head, safe from any criticism, the final product still seems to have great potential.

    The bottom line is that you have to learn from mistakes, and that you can't let them paralyze you into procrastination.
    Yes, this is is the fear of failure right there. It is important to acknowledge the fear and understand that there is no real failure but lessons learnt for you to change and improve your approach for the next time. These are lessons that will bring you one step closer to succeeding.

    Great advice. The more you practice busting away from procrastination the better you will get at it. The reason I say busting away is because that is what it feels like to me. Something that just holds you back, holds you down tight. Being able to break free little by little each day will make you feel much better as you will be accomplishing so much more in this short life time. You will find yourself starting to take action easier and easier each day whether it be with your business, exercise or building a new deck. I still procrastinate too much myself but also feed off my success of breaking free from it and will only keep getting stronger , as long as I stay consistent.
    Exactly! It is important to feed on yesterday's success and power yourself forward today. The power of momentum. All your efforts will snowball and compound day by day. The sum is greater than its parts. And before you know it, you have built your version of the Great Wall of China.

    This is why it is important to celebrate our successes and there is no success too small that it is no worth celebrating.
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    The Warrior Guides is a series of powerful books designed to boost your productivity, improve your efficiency, relieve stress and anxiety... so that you will power ahead towards your dreams. Check out the titles in this power series now!

    Contributing members include: Bryan Kumar, Dr Mani, Di Heuser and many other fellow warriors!

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