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Procrastination: Make It Work FOR You!

Man, I love to procrastinate! And I'm pretty darn good at it, too. Would you believe I started writing this article almost six months ago? Yep. But then I found lots of ways to, well, procrastinate. But I guess you've already figured that out...

During these months, though, I've learned a couple things. First, writing about procrastination is pretty dangerous for someone as good at it as I am. When I'm not focused, it's easy to become distracted by things that simply aren't very important to me. But I also noticed that for me, at least, procrastination isn't necessarily a bad thing. (Come on, don't you sometimes thoroughly enjoy not doing something?) And there are times when I've found that putting something off actually worked out for the best. So I say, let's procrastinate! One rule, though: if we're going to procrastinate, let's enjoy it. Here's how:

1 - Step away

If you're procrastinating, one thing's for certain. You're not very primary about your task. It's not a 'must' or you'd be doing it. Think of the last time you procrastinated. Just how critical was the thing you were procrastinating about? At the time, other things were no doubt more urgent, more important - or just more fun. So you did them instead. Good for you.

Instead of investing time and attention on what you're not accomplishing, find something you are primary about - something you deliberately choose to accomplish - and do that instead. You'll achieve more, more easily. You'll make strides that move you closer to your most important goals. And it will certainly be more enjoyable. And the other task? Don't worry. It'll still be there for you when - and if - you decide to go back to it.

2 - Paint in your head

Tom, my very wise watercolor instructor, suggests I put a painting I'm working on somewhere I'll often pass by it ... and just think about how I'd continue painting it. No brushes, no water. Just looking ... appreciating ... planning ... imagining. "Just paint in your head," he said with a smile.

I was a little skeptical (sorry, Tom) ... but it worked. Not only did I find creative solutions for my paintings, I found that when I picked up my brushes again, I was much faster and more efficient than I could possibly have been before.

Is this procrastinating? If so, I'll be doing more of it - and suggest you do, too. Every now and then, step back and make sure the project you're working on still makes sense to you ... and that you're creating it the way you like. 'Paint in your head' for as long as it takes. Then, when it feels right, go full steam ahead.

3 - Do something. Anything!

Ever have a goal that was so challenging you were overwhelmed by it? Didn't even know where to start? Maybe felt a little ... uh ... procrastination setting in?

Put your attention on anything you can do that supports your goal, and do it - immediately. Find something else you can do - and do it. Again. And again. Just keep taking tiny steps. Do whatever you can do, whenever and however you can do it. You'll not only move from procrastination into action, you'll eventually reach your goal. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

Best-selling author Kathy Gulrich helps clients get from idea, to action, to results - more quickly, and more easily - whether they're looking to write a book, develop a new product, or market their product or business. Clients love her direct, no-nonsense approach - and her gentle insistence on great results. Find out for yourself: Check out one of Kathy's teleclasses, or pick up a free worksheet, at


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