The More You Do – The Better You Feel

How To Learn to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life

Chapter One

The two of us batted the topic back-and-forth like a tennis ball. He would say, “You have power over these things.”Then I’d reply, “But I don’t have power over them; that’s my problem.”Of course, the very next day my paper mountain grew a bit larger. As it grew, I lost even more faith in my abilities, and in myself. To be certain, I was up the creek—without a paddle or a guide.

Fed up with the papers, as much as with myself, I would occasionally take to an action, of sorts. I would briskly sift through the mountain, combing through it and plucking out anything that had no purpose whatsoever. These were usually things like fast-food restaurant coupons that had already expired, and store receipts from the most insignificant of purchases. Then I would begin segregating what was left over, sometimes by subject matter, other times by size. Finally, I’d re-stack the items neatly until they resembled more of a neat and well-proportioned pyramid than a craggy and old paper mountain. My work done, I would once again retire to my television set.

What does this tell us? For one thing, it tells us that when a procrastinator has ample time to deal with a task that he’s put off for a while, he will often choose lower-priority wants over higher-priority needs. For example: in the scenario above, the priority I chose was to half-heartedly deal with that paper mountain as quickly as possible, a want; rather than doing what I truly needed to “do,” which would have been to actually deal with it until I had essentially eliminated it.

Unfortunately, nothing that actually required effort was dealt with, and of course, the next day I would again stare at the stack and think, “Why didn’t I take care of that when I had the time? What’s wrong with me? “This self-doubt and shame at my perceived inadequacies led to an even greater lack of confidence in my decision-making ability, which then led to even lower self-esteem, and to even more task avoidance. With all of this against me, should I have been surprised to find myself falling into depression every now and then?

Habitual Procrastinators Can’t
Afford the Luxury of Free Time

I can recall an occasion when a two-week vacation from work was approaching, and I eagerly looked forward to using the entire time to