One Scary Thing

Photo by ColKorn1982.

Photo by ColKorn1982.

Procrastination has been something I’ve struggled with for a long time. It was something I started doing for a long list of reasons: perfectionism; not wanting to be embarrassed by something that wasn’t quite right; worrying about what other people would say about what I’d finished.

I’m slowly getting better with it. Ten or fifteen years ago I fell into it much more quickly and spent way more time getting out of it.

Now I’ve condensed the entire process into a week or two instead of months on end.

One of the things that has really helped me as I work on this is the idea of one scary thing.

Almost anything can be broken into a series of steps: open an email, make a phone call, read a document.

The trick is to focus on only one of those steps at a time.

All I have to do today is complete one step. I set an alarm ahead of time. When the timer dings days or weeks later, I work quickly to finish that step and only that step. Tomorrow is a chance to tackle the next one. There’s no need to do it right now until I have a strong urge the finish the whole thing right now.  This rarely happens, but I take advantage of it when it does.

The amazing thing is how often it works. Of course I still have times when there are setbacks, but I’ve seen a lot of personal growth in this area recently.

What habits are you currently working to correct? What works best for you while trying to change them?

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