Dr. Neil Fiore wrote what I thought was one of the best books on procrastination that I ever read.
I recently found this quote he posted on an email list concerning a study about procrastination.
Basically, people who feel more in control and more confident about their abilities are more likely to complete a task.
Dr. Fiore recommends keeping your attention focused only on starting, instead of finishing and focusing on only working for small amounts of time on a task to get yourself going. Once you get going, feelings of anxiety about the task will tend to disappear. Jump in the pool and the water will no longer feel cold.
Psychologist in Berlin’s Freie University, Ralf Schwarzer & Urte Scholz, found that feeling in control [perceived self-efficacy] is the opposite of [is negatively correlated with] procrastination at – .56 and with feelings of lack of achievement at -.75. They define Perceived Self-Efficacy as the belief that one can perform a novel or difficult task, or cope with adversity — in various domains of human functioning. So if you feel in control you’re less likely to procrastinate and your confidence about completing even difficult projects becomes stronger. You can feel in control/have self-efficacy by Choosing to Start at a specific time for 5, 15, or 30 minutes. When you actually show up at that chosen time you build Self-leadership neural pathways and discover that the overwhelmed, fearful parts of you are able to follow your lead and contribute to achieving your goals. Time Management can offer a structure—such as the Un-Schedule and Guilt-Free Play and Billable Minutes and 3 and 4-dimensional views of your goals—that require less will power or sense of being in control. I just tell my workers – my mind and body— WHEN to show up for 15-30 minutes to start on my top AAA priority task first [then choose when I will start again], follow it by a reward or by doing a simple B priority, mindless task such as
paying a few bills, preparing lunch or following up on emails.
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