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How to Overcome Procrastination

How to Overcome Procrastination

How to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is the habit of putting off what we know we should do because we're not in the mood to do it.

Procrastination is the opposite of good time management.

Time managers figure out what they should do and then they do it, even if they're not in the mood.

Procrastinators figure out what they should do, but they DON'T do it - because they're not in the mood.

You have Three Brains

Inside your head, you have three brains:

1. The brainstem: which deals with basic functioning of balance, heart rate, blood pressure, and other automatic systems.

2. The emotional brain: most of your brain is exactly the same as a chimpanzee's. It has all the emotions, drives, fears, instincts of an animal. It tends to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

3. Human intellect, the neocortex: The third brain is a human brain, which literally sits on top of the old animal chimpanzee brain. It is the intellect, the neocortex, that makes you more than a chimpanzee. It makes you distinctly human, and not a chimpanzee. The intellect is the rational faculty or the logical mind.

It is the rational faculty that gives us everything distinctly human: language, mathematics, art, literature, engineering, science, ethics, politics, philosophy - everything that makes us human comes from the human intellect.

Inner Civil War

The two major parts of your mind, the human intellect and the emotions, are often at war with each other.

The intellect says you should do one thing, but the emotions say the opposite.

For example, in the morning when the alarm goes off, your intellect says you must get out of bed, but the emotions want to stay in bed.

When we have this inner civil war between what the intellect knows we should do and what the emotions feel like doing, then my question is: Who wins the war?

Do you do what you know you should do, or do you allow your emotions to take control and put-off what you know you should do?

Procrastinators allow the emotions to take control over their reason, and they only do the things they feel like doing - they don't do the things they don't want to do - because they're not in the mood.

Time managers run their lives on their intellect, not their emotions. Time managers do what they know they should do even if they are not in the mood!

Moments of Choice

When you are faced with the inevitable clash between what you know you should do and what you feel like doing, make sure that you choose wisely.

Mind over mood

Your intellectual mind should take precedence over your moods and emotions. I call this philosophy "Mind over Mood."

Always operate according to your highest part, which is the intellect.

Procrastinators Abandon Reason

Procrastinators abandon reason, throw out logic, and they operate only on the emotions, which leads them to disaster.

Action Plan

Mind over mood: always do what your intellectual mind tells you to do, whether or not you are in the mood.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Decision Making and Problem Solving

  • How to Overcome Procrastination
    To overcome procrastination, develop strong time management skills by identifying tasks and commit to completing them regardless of your mood.This approach contrasts with procrastination, where tasks are delayed due to a lack of immediate motivation.
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  • Unlocking the Power of First Principles
    When supporting our opinions, we often turn to facts or fundamental principles. However, one of these approaches emerges as significantly more impactful. We explore why this is important.
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  • The Four Causes of all Your Problems
    There are four main causes of all your problems. Find out the major causes of all problems and learn how to find the right solution to those you can fix.
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  • When and How to Use the Five Whys Technique
    Discovering the root cause of a problem is vital to finding a satisfactory solution. The 5 Whys Technique is a method of problem solving based on asking "Why?" five times. Corporate Coach Group have an improved version of the 5 Whys Technique.
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  • Be a Straight Thinker
    Being able to think straight is an asset in life. We know this means making rational decisions, but what exactly does that mean in reality? You need to learn to be a critical thinker and here are four things to remember to get your thinking straight.
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