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Simply Get Started

A recent caller to my radio show began by telling me what a terrible guy he was— addicted to procrastination. He said he was paralyzed and couldn’t do any of the things he wanted to do. Of course, I immediately thought, don’t believe everything you think! Isn’t procrastination really just an illusion? You can stop putting pressure on yourself. You don’t have to do any of those things you’re worried about. The evidence is that you haven’t done them and you’re still here, aren’t you?  If you really wanted to do something, wouldn’t you simply do it? Procrastination is one of those excuses, born of fear, that we use to keep ourselves stuck.

Let’s say that you now want to push past the illusion and get started. First, forgive yourself for doubting that you can achieve whatever you set out to accomplish. Give thanks for the wonderful gifts you are now ready to share with the world. According to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, acknowledged as one of the true giants of creativity, the way to get something done is to start it. The act of beginning an enterprise, no matter how small a beginning it is, ignites power. We’ve all had a brush or two with procrastination, but the story doesn’t end there. I have used such helpful tactics as putting a date on the calendar when my task will be completed, “assigning” myself to sit at my desk until the job is done, even checking myself into a hotel room and not allowing myself to leave until I’ve made the progress I need to make. Just getting started generates an energy and excitement that helps push you forward.

It also helps to surround yourself with people who are doers. Being around people who are active and engaged and willing to boldly begin generates energy, too. Stop the excuses you have come to rely on to explain why you don’t get the really important things accomplished in your life. The main reason you haven’t completed what you say you would like to is that you have refused to begin. All the excuses are just that, excuses. In your heart you know this is true.

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LaTeia says:

I am so grateful to my co-worker Denise, you introduced me to excuse begone. thank you dr. dyer for teaching about NOW!

Carrie says:

Great article! Here’s a blog about how to make choices, which can help people overcome procrastination

JanetPfeiffer, The Antidote to Anger says:

A simple lesson I learned is to spend the 1st 90 minutes of each day (or at work) doing what is most important. It is amazing how much more I accomplish. Usually, I feel so good about myself I continue working diligently and finsh far more than usual. One simple tip produces dramatic results. Blessings.

Susan says:

Last night as I pondered over an astonomical fund raising event for a charter school that is facing closure, the voice on the cd I put in listed W.Dyer’s contact info.We teach an “Excuses Begone” infused curriculum. Thank you, High Desert Academy

valerie says:

I truly believe that this book is my thing to do, and I just feel such peace, and at the same time energy, now that I’ve made the first step to complete it -I’m just going to start it. You have been such an inspiration in my life, truly changed my thinking and therefore, my life. I smile knowing I will be beside you on the bookshelf one day!

valerie says:

And my very good friend, on her way to her second mission trip to Africa sent me this quote…, For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

valerie says:

There really are no coincidences! I have for years been trying to get my book started, and just today I made the outline for it. FINALLY! And I have never been to this site until today. Something just made me think of you, so I ended up here to read this post…

Nealon Hightower, Six Simple Truths says:

Wayno, During my 120lb weight release journey, I practiced gratitude daily and it was a major component to overcoming procrastination. It worked, so I know you speak the truth. Thank you for sharing. How was the Pixar short?

Jim Haley says:

Wayne you are always right that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Thanks for being there for me right at a time when I needed a shot in the arm on this subject! Hope you Birthday was great! Namaste, JIm

Mucunda says:

To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death; what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is immortal.
Jorge Luis Borges

Lisa says:

Thank-you Dr. Dyer perfect words I needed to hear today. You are truly an inspiration. Namaste. Lisa

patti says:

You are connected God 🙂 today I am putting off some chores I would like to do before tomorrow and instead tuned into your web site… hahaha you just gave me the ability to forgive my self and get started.. Thanks Dr Dyer agan…

Mucunda says:

Addicted to procrastination. I think it is a common period in several periods of any man s life
Perhaps the panic to face life in the real context. I can understand that man and it is not so easy to get it over
How was the cake

Valerie Curcuro, Life Coach says:

Procrastination goes hand in hand with a perfectionistic nature, giving ourselves permission to do anything, letting go of the idea that it has to be the right thing, frees us from inertia and as you pointed out, generates the energy to move forward.