DEAR HARRIETTE: Procrastination has essentially ruled my life. I love the adrenaline I get when I have a ticking deadline. Although I manage to get my projects submitted on time, I have come to realize it is not my best work. I’ve been procrastinating for half a century now. Is there any way to stop? I am never late on deadlines, but frequently I am disappointed in myself after submission because I know I could do better. -- Last Second, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR LAST SECOND: Breaking bad habits is never easy, but it is possible. And procrastination is definitely a habit worth breaking!
For starters, you must decide for yourself that you deserve to achieve your fullest potential. You need to commit to an internal shift in order for you to stick to a new plan of action. To help yourself, begin by creating false deadlines that are a few days before the work is actually due. Complete the work, and then review it before you turn it in. That window of a few extra days can become extremely useful for fine-tuning and editing your work. This method allows you to still have the adrenaline rush because you have created a tight deadline for completion of your projects. Try this out for a month, and see if your work improves.