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Procrastination

Question:

At the moment I’m a college student doing a double degree, but find the work very boring especially the reading. After reading a book called “procrastinate later” I still find it difficult to motivate myself. Can you please help me?

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Answer:

The only thing I can do for you is perhaps to get you thinking in different, perhaps more productive directions. Let’s try to do that.

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p>You’ve got a problem to solve (“how do I finish my degree?”, “how do I get myself to study?”) and you are finding that you are procrastinating – putting off the work necessary to accomplish your goal.

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p>To overly simplify the situation, lets pretend that your procrastination is caused by your having certain thoughts and feelings that keep you from making progress. Let’s give these thoughts and feelings some names: fear, doubt, laziness, lack of interest. Sometimes people procrastinate because they are afraid of success, because they don’t want to face the possibility of people expecting them to repeat their successes. They avoid their fear of success by not making progress. Other people procrastinate because they doubt themselves and their abilities. They don’t believe they can succeed, and so avoid being a failure by not making progress. Still other people just don’t care too much about succeeding and so don’t make the effort. A fourth group maybe believes in themselves, wants success and has the drive to succeed, but simply don’t find the problem they are working on fascinating or interesting. This last group procrastinates because they are poorly fitted to the work at hand.

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p>The task in front of you is to figure out which of these reasons (if any) fit you best (keeping in mind that there are many other reasons that might fit your own procrastination better than the ones I’ve provided here) and then use that understanding to take action. If you doubt yourself or are afraid of success – then get yourself into situations where you feel more comfortable with what is expected of you, or seek counseling or the advice of an experienced mentor to help give yourself the proper support you’ll need to push past your fears. If you are finding that you just don’t like what you are working on then think seriously about why you are working on it. Maybe there is another path for you that you can connect better with than the one you’ve chosen. It is a great thing to get a college degree – it opens many doors. But maybe you need to be an artist, or a traveler or whatever you connect with effortlessly, rather than trying to force yourself through something you don’t want to do.

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p>The fact that you’ve read on the subject of procrastination is encouraging. It suggests that you are willing to work on understanding your problem. Use that energy to effect by figuring out what is bothering you, finding support, and acting to make sure that what you are working on is something you can connect with.

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