5 Secrets of Happy People
ProcrastinationFatal Flaw #1: You procrastinate.
Tomorrow is soon enough. Besides, you excel under pressure.
The ugly truth: You're secretly afraid your work won't be perfect and you'll be outed as a fraud. "Procrastinators tend to be very concerned about what other people think of them," says Joseph Ferrari, PhD, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. "If you worry that you will never perform as well as you have in the past, fear of failure may be halting your progress." Putting off work provides a ready-made excuse: Instead of admitting failure, you can always blame your busy schedule and overbooked calendar. "That way, you can tell yourself the project would have been successful if only you'd had more time," Ferrari explains.
The fix: Play the worst-case-scenario game. The next time your grasp on deadlines starts to slip -- something even the worst procrastinator can recognize -- take a moment to look inward for the source of your foot dragging. Ask yourself what's the absolute worst that could happen. Then spin the consequences out to their most ludicrous degree: Would your family and friends disown you? Would you end up starving and homeless? Would the cat die? Once you've realized things aren't so awful, you can get past the anxiety and focus on the work, says Ferrari.
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