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Cheating on Your Inner Procrastinator

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Yeah, that's right: You're busted.

You're procrastinating. I know it. You know it. And I actually think your boss probably knows it too. Maybe she's even reading this post right now, trying to avoid working on your mid-year performance review (lucky you).

It's okay to procrastinate, as long as you do it with panache (and some planning).

Rather than trying to wrestle with your "Inner Procrastinator," why not change the dynamics of your relationship with him. Seem strange? Keep procrastinating and read on, my friend...

The way to get the jump on your Inner Procrastinator is to confuse him a bit. Get a bunch of projects going at the same time. Keeping your hands in various different endeavors will allow you the thrill of keeping things fresh, and therefore keeping things moving. Plus, it has the added bonus of feeling illicit -- It's sort of like cheating on your Inner Procrastinator. Instead of using Internet shopping to avoid your research, use other tasks to procrastinate. For example, if you are feeling mentally fatigued from working on that proposal, try picking up something else you need to do that is "mindless" or that exercises different parts of your brain.

Now for some structure: Indulge your urge to procrastinate, but don't get silly. The idea of having a few projects going on simultaneously is a great strategy, but keep it to six or fewer projects (there is actually some neuroscience research to support this idea, but I won't bore you with the studies).

Any more than six projects, and your energy becomes diffused and you won't really make any progress on your projects, and you will likely end up feeling frustrated and stagnant.

So give it a try. Stop avoiding what you should be doing and get out there and procrastinate!

For more by Ben Michaelis, Ph.D., click here.

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