Procrastination is killer. Literally. Putting off an upcoming task only makes the task itself grow and grow in your mind until it gets beyond bearable, beyond tackling. Sometimes it is even something we are looking forward to, or excited about: pursuing a new career or visiting a long lost friend.
For most people, the fear of the unknown is intense. Often those things we put off are the unknown. You don't want to write that paper for that class because what if it's not good enough? You don't want to learn to ride that bike because what if you can't do it right? You don't want to take that new job because it might not be as good as the one you have now. Everyone has something they are putting off for another time. And occasionally it is wise to wait. But when the task keeps resurfacing and filling you with a dreadful anticipation, that could be a sign it is something worth tackling sooner than later. Often our fears are quickly overcome if you just run right past them and start now.
You will no longer be filled with dread every time you think of the task you need to complete; you are already on your way to completing it! Once it is done it is behind you and you will have more free time. Just think if you start now, you are already almost done! No more time wasted on worry or indecision. Just move forward and start now.
Take care of the everyday things: fixing the kitchen sink, cleaning the bathrooms, doing your homework, walking the dog, or finishing a presentation for work. But tackle the big ones, too! Make a list of your loftiest goals and dreams. Take some time to really think about these items and seek advice from peers and mentors. Here is the key: if you decide to pursue something, start now. Research grad schools today. Fill out that job application today. Ask that person to marry you right now. Don't wait! Start now and start living the life you've always wanted.
Practice, practice, practice. If you learn to start quickly on the smaller tasks, then eventually diving into the bigger tasks won't be so daunting, either. Make a list today of some things that you need to get done in the following week or month. Go through and systematically finish each task. Even just making the list is a way to say "I'm starting this now. No more procrastination."
How to stop procrastinating.
Learn to do things without delaying.