How to Beat Procrastination

In Writing On Both Sides of the Brain, Henriette Klauser writes, "Resistance always has meaning. When you find yourself reluctant to act, your body and your mind are trying to tell you something."

When you find yourself resisting the task of writing, don't fight. Will power won't change things in the long run. What you need is to find the source of your resistance. This seems straightforward, but in fact, motivations are often buried. It may take some time to let go of the excuses and root out the real reason you're putting things off.

As Klauser writes, "When you delve into the meaning behind whatever it is you are resisting, you will discover that there are choices underlying the work stoppage, a payoff that makes not writing somehow more attractive than writing." Cal Poly Study Skills Library suggests that one cause of procrastination may be "self-downing" - the fear of success. Many times of procrastinating, deep down, I've struggled with this fear. According to Cal Poly, some ways to deal with this are:

◦Practice accepting compliments about your work performance by simply saying "Thank you."

◦Figure out why you feel uncomfortable with success. Did significant others in your life often make you feel that way? Were you taught to minimize your success? Why is success so scary? Will it make you stand out in the crowd? Do you feel as though others will not accept you if you are successful?

◦Remember to compliment and praise yourself for work accomplished.

And here's my biggest secret for dealing with procrastination: do nothing. I reserve the right to let myself procrastinate. I remember the big picture of life, and that the thing I'm procrastinating (writing a blog post, balancing my checkbook, cleaning the garage) is probably not going to make or break me. I get on with living.

Ahhh: acceptance. Now doesn't this feel better than fighting?


  1. Wow...I never thought to be afraid of success! I'm too busy dealing with the fear of being bad at something :)

  2. Yes to all of the above for reason's I procrastinate. I am doing better with both of my blogs, thanks to the lessons I have learned from you, Christi.

  3. There is a lot of wisdom in these words! Thank you for sharing them. In a world where people are inundated with things to do, it is good to remember that "doing nothing" is always an option. Sometimes it is the best option. Occasionally the only option. And when "doing nothing" happens (or doesn't as the case may be!) we are offered the gift of perspective on what is really important in life.
    - Jeff E.

  4. Great comments, all. Gypsy, maybe you can make a list of all the things that don't scare you -including success. Theresa, thanks for the kind words, and good for you - keep going. Jeff, very nice, the gift of perspective.


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