Hit the delay button. Your Wheedler messages you: “Don’t go to the gym. It’s a hot day. Have a beer instead.”
Play up the onerous and then discomfort dodge. Wringing the crying towel, the Wheedler yelps about how awful a task is going to be. When this whining Wheedler is done, washing the dishes becomes the Bataan Death March.
Alibi to get off the hook. Make up an excuse to justify delay. The later is better ploy is a classic: “Relax! Conditions will be better later! There’s no reason to rush into this!” Follow this Wheedler lingo, and you put off responsible actions for another day… over and over again. Then you con others into thinking that you faced impossible odds. That’s why you fell behind. (The dog ate the report; the computer crashed.)
The Wheedler blitzkrieg. You tell yourself you are swamped with too much to do. Now anxious and overwhelmed, you stew in thoughts like, “It’s just too much to do.” This blitzkrieg often includes combined procrastination: different forms of procrastination assemble in a discordant ensemble. For example, discomfort dodging and reactance make for a deadly procrastination combination. Now you hear a Wheedler whisper: “It’s hopeless!” This thinking may throttle a depressed mood. When depressed, you have less energy to perform.
Here’s a sample of anti-Wheedler tactics to reduce the effect of this procrastination promoting pest.
Commit to a procrastination day (P-Day) for change. On P-Day you deploy against Wheedler tactics. To start this day, take the sooner than later approach.
Chart the action. Map how the Wheedler has been affecting you today. This awareness opens opportunities to change course now.
Consider your thinking. What do you tell yourself to strike out for a Wheedler victory? Is it “delay’s okay because tomorrow is a brighter day?” Reverse course. Think and act on this prescription: Do it now.
Change the game. Dedicate yourself to both catch-up and keep-up with your responsibilities. Commit to deal with responsibilities as they come up. Otherwise, they end up in your catch-up pile.
Create clear goals. Expect the Wheedler to flank you when you have poorly defined goals, such as to stop procrastinating. A clear goal is to start action to do taxes at 6:00 PM. However, even well-stated goals fizzle without a plan. Most plans are simple: How will you go about preparing your taxes?
Chuck the blitzkrieg. Target your number one priority. As part of your planning, break the priority into digestible-sized bits and pieces. Refuse conning yourself into thinking that the entire task has to be done at once. Instead of “cleaning the house,” start with one room.
Construct your own positive motivation. Action creates motivation. Use the five-minute tactic. Commit five minutes at the start. After working for five minutes, decide if you will do five more. Once past an inertial barrier, it is normally easier to continue.
Converge on habits of consumption. Use the reverse five-minute method. A Wheedler mandate is to consume. This feels like a mindless act when you gobble one potato chip after another, or slug down one beer after another. Use the reverse five-minute method. When you have an urge to consume, wait five minutes. At the end of that time, decide on another five-minute interval. This strategic delay can buy time to subvert Wheedler impulses. This delay can make a positive difference.