The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, 2E


You know you put things off. You find yourself scrambling to complete tasks at the last minute … and sometimes don't finish what you start at all. You're a chronic procrastinator, but you don't have to be.

Packed with easy-to-implement ideas for conquering your bad habits, this revised and updated guide gives you everything you need to know to say good-bye to procrastination for good. In it, you get:

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, 2E

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You know you put things off. You find yourself scrambling to complete tasks at the last minute … and sometimes don't finish what you start at all. You're a chronic procrastinator, but you don't have to be.

Packed with easy-to-implement ideas for conquering your bad habits, this revised and updated guide gives you everything you need to know to say good-bye to procrastination for good. In it, you get:

A look at why you procrastinate, along with tips for getting beyond those root causes once and for all.

Advice on clearing out the clutter, getting organized, and simplifying your life.

Simple strategies for overcoming procrastination at home-and finally tackling that "honey do" list.

Easy ideas for getting your schedule and your social life in order.

Guidance on getting things done at school, at work, and in other important areas of your life.

Tips for becoming more comfortable and confident in your decision-making.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615642113
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 529,011
  • Product dimensions: 8.98 (w) x 5.92 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHELLE TULLIER, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized counselor, author, and speaker, and is on the faculty at New York University. She specializes in helping people set and reach personal and professional goals. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Whats, Whys, and Woes of Procrastination 1

1 Why We Procrastinate and Why It's a Problem 3

The Procrastination Epidemic-You're Not Alone! 4

Technology: Timesaver or Timewaster? 4

How Work Overload Fuels Procrastination 5

How Life at Home Leads to Procrastination 6

What Procrastination Is 7

Things We Procrastinate About 8

Why We Love to Hate Procrastination 10

When Procrastination Is a Good Thing 10

The Cost of Procrastination 11

2 The Environmental Causes of Procrastination 15

I Think, Therefore I Do-or Do I? 15

Environmental Hazards 17

Peer Pressure and Procrastination 18

The Culture of Procrastination 19

The Power of Discomfort: How Places Lead to Procrastination 20

How a Cluttered Life Holds You Back 21

The Leaning Tower of Paper 21

Electronic Clutter 22

The Collector's Curse 23

Commitment Overload 24

So Is It Really Not My Fault? 25

3 The internal Causes of Procrastination 27

Understanding the Psychology of Action 27

How Thinking Too Much Leads to Procrastination 29

How Not Thinking Enough Leads to Procrastination 29

What's Causing Your Procrastination? 30

Fears That Hold You Back 31

Fear of Failure 32

Fear of Being Judged 32

Fear of Success 33

When Perfection Is Part of the Problem 34

How Mind Games Slow Us Down 35

Feeling Overwhelmed 35

This Is So Frustrating! 36

The Adrenaline Rush 36

I'm So Bored 37

You Want Me to Do What?! 31

When a More Serious Issue Might Be to Blame 38

Medical Reasons for Procrastination 38

You're Not a Bad Person 39

Don't Worry, There Is Hope 40

4 Why You've Failed in the Past 41

Why Your Past Efforts Have Failed 42

Why Change Is So Darn Hard 45

Understanding the Seven Stages of Change 46

How Likely Are You to Change? 47

Creating an Amateur Support Team 48

Getting Support from the Pros 49

Mental Health Professionals 50

Career Development Professionals 51

Personal and Life Coaches 52

Professional Organizers 53

Questions to Ask When Seeking Professional Help 54

Part 2 The Path to Becoming an Ex-Procrastinator 57

5 It's About Time-Finding, Using, and Enjoying It 59

Why You Can't (and Shouldn't Want to) Manage Time 59

Don't Be Bullied by Time 60

Who Controls Your Time? 60

Making Peace with Time 61

How Not to Be Handcuffed to Your Calendar 61

Stop Using the "But I Just Can't Find the Time" Excuse 62

Getting Your Priorities Straight 63

Banish the "It's Not the Right Time to Do This" Excuse 64

Creating the Illusion of More Time 65

Why To-Do Lists Don't Get Done-and What You Can Do 66

The Beauty of Routine 67

The Gentle Art of Scheduling 68

Balancing Acts 69

Why It's Hard to Say No 69

How to Say No 71

6 Decluttering and Organizing 75

Assessing Your Clutter Crisis 76

How to Stop Rationalizing Your Clutter Habit 76

Where Your Attachment to Stuff Comes From 77

Guilt 78

Value 79

Sentimentality 80

Time-Capsule Syndrome 81

Practicality 82

Hopes and Dreams 82

Identity 83

Getting Rid of Stuff 84

A Crash Course in Getting Organized 86

7 Make Better Decisions to Take Better Action 89

Why You Just Can't Decide 90

Too Many Choices and Too Much Information 91

Not Enough Choices, Time, or Money 92

Making Decisions Harder Than They Need to Be 93

Decisions Strike at the Core of Who We Are 94

Making Major-League Decisions 94

Making Minor-League Decisions 95

The Eight Decision-Making Styles 96

Loner or Pollster? 96

Forecaster or Bean-Counter? 97

Analyst or Feeler? 97

Hunter-Gatherer or Settler? 98

What's Your Decision-Making Style? 98

Ten Steps to Decision-Making Like a Pro 99

Don't Sweat It 103

8 The Prescription for Overcoming Procrastination 105

The Stop, Look, and Listen Solution 105

Just Push Pause-Using the "Stop" Part of the Solution 106

Look Around You-Using the "Look" Part of the Solution 107

Listen Carefully-Using the "Listen" Part of the Solution 108

Ten Surefire Strategies for Getting Anything Done 110

Strategy 1: Get Fired Up 110

Strategy 2: Get Organized 111

Strategy 3: Prioritize 111

Strategy 4: Find Freedom in Routine 112

Strategy 5: Get Comfortable 112

Strategy 6: Get Connected to People and Information 112

Strategy 7: Use Positive Self-Talk 113

Strategy 8: Focus on Do Dates, not Due Dates 114

Strategy 9: Use the Chip-Away Technique 115

Strategy 10: Play Trick or Treat 116

See? It's Not So Hard! 118

Part 3 Let's Get It Done (Already) 119

9 Procrastination in Your Home Life 121

Are You a Neatnik, Clean Freak, or Slob? 121

Why We Put Off Household Chores 123

Turn Home Squalid Home into Home Sweet Home 123

Dealing with Laundry, Trash, and Other Dirty Words 128

Laundry 128

Dry Cleaning 130

Trash 130

This Old House 132

Yard Work 133

10 Procrastination in Your Family and Social Life 135

Marriage, American Style 135

Saying "I Do," Not "I'll Do It Later" 137

Putting Off the Pitter-Patter 138

Get a Life-Socially Speaking 139

Saying I Don't 142

11 Procrastination in Everyday Life Matters 145

Why New Year's Resolutions Lose Their Resolve 145

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions 147

Making Health-Care Appointments 149

Money Matters We Put Off and Why It Matters 152

Why We Procrastinate About Money Matters 153

What to Do About Your Financial Procrastination 154

Making Taxes Less Taxing 156

Dealing with the Reality of Mortality 158

12 Procrastination at Work and School 161

A Career in Procrastination 162

Why Careers Stagnate 163

Get a Job (and Love It) 164

Too Comfortable to Leave, Too Miserable to Stay 165

Fishing with a Net 166

No Target to Hit 166

Job-Hunting Mind Games 167

Getting Ahead in Your Career and Job 167

Academia: A Procrastination Breeding Ground 169

Procrastination in High School 169

Procrastination in College 171

Procrastination in Graduate School 173

Returning to School Before the Twelfth of Never 174

13 Procrastination in Your Tech Life 177

Understanding Technology Procrastination Through Statistics 178

Internet Usage Statistics 179

Statistics on Mobile Phones and Tablet Devices 180

Games, Shopping, and Other Diversions by the Numbers 182

Key Changes to Make in Your Tech Life to Start Reining It In 183

Keep Electronic Clutter at Bay 183

Avoid Technology Distractions 184

Manage Your Time Online and Onscreen 186

Strategies for Taming Email and Reclaiming Your Inbox 189

14 Making Procrastination a Thing of the Past 193

Seven Simple Rules for Putting Off Procrastination 194

Make Balance a Priority 195

Value Your Priorities and Prioritize Your Values 196

Your Procrastinator's Oath of Effectiveness 199

It's Up to You 201

Index 203

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