Opinion Stage

Monday, December 30, 2013


Top Six Reasons You Should Not Skip Breakfast

Image Source: www.dbgg1979.com

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people skip this meal. Most people have very busy schedules, and that leaves little time to eat breakfast. However, you should try your best to eat a nutritious meal before you start your day. There are a number of benefits that you can reap from eating breakfast.

Energy Boost

If you feel sluggish in the morning, then a nutritious breakfast can give you the energy that you need to get through your day. Fiber, vitamin C and vitamin D are just a few of the many nutrients that will help increase your energy level. Whole wheat toast with eggs and an orange is an example of a nutritious breakfast.

Help You Focus Better

It will be much easier for you to focus on work or school if your stomach is full. On the other hand, you will have a harder time focusing if you skip breakfast. When you are hungry, it is hard to think about anything else except for food.

Prevent You From Gaining Weight

Researchers have found that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight. When you skip breakfast, you are much more likely to overeat during lunch and dinner. Additionally, you encourage your body to store calories when you skip breakfast.

Boost Your Metabolism

Your metabolism has a tendency to decrease when you go to sleep. Eating breakfast helps you jumpstart your metabolism. A faster metabolism will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. That is another reason why regular breakfast eaters usually weigh less.

Help Decrease Your LDL Cholesterol

Your LDL cholesterol is better known as the “bad” type of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol builds up in your arteries and can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that eating breakfast regularly can help lower LDL cholesterol.

Prevent Heart Attacks

A new study done by Harvard School of Public Health has shown that people who skip breakfast may be at a greater risk for having a heart attack. Skipping breakfast increases the risk of high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are all heart disease risk factors. Therefore, you may be able to reduce your risk of having a heart attack if you eat breakfast.

It is very important for you to make time for your morning meal. A healthy breakfast will increase your metabolism, boost your energy, help you focus and lower your bad cholesterol. It can also prevent you from gaining weight and reduce your risk of having a heart attack.


Sunday, December 29, 2013



Can you boost brain power with exercise? Several relevant studies were reported on at the annual Meeting Of The Society Of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal recently The findings showed both immediate benefits from exercise, as well as long-term effects Exercise seems to help your brain work more efficiently and actually make you smarter.

In one study, the thinking ability of subjects was tested After the tests, they ran on a treadmill for thirty minutes Then, when their hearts returned to normal resting levels they took the follow-up tests For all tests the subjects were connected to an elctroencephalogram (EEG), in order to track their brainwaves.

The first thing researchers noted was that exercising had sped up the speed of their decision-making It was a significant difference Upon scoring the tests, it was also found that the subjects answered more accurately after the exercise than before.

The study participants were between 18 and 24 years old, but researchers think the findings will hold true for other age groups as well Another study showed that just ten minutes of moderate exercise each day can improve mood and reduce fatigue Brainpower specifically wasn’t tested, but it seems likely that less fatigue means better brain power.

Best Exercise For Brain Power?

Most research has focused more on the duration of exercise more than on the specific type Aerobic exercise seems to be the common element in the studies that have shown improvements in brainpower, however It seems likely that running, bicycling, swimming, dancing and any other aerobic exercises will have the same effect.

Ten minutes of exercise is apparently enough to have effects on the brain It’s not clear how much more benefit there may be with longer exercise sessions Interestingly, while most scientists probably expected to find brain power benefits from long-term exercise programs, the study using treadmills showed an immediate effect as well In other words, get up and run around, and you can be smarter ten minutes from now.

Many people find that walking is one of the best ways to boost brain power Apart from the aerobic benefits that are now being explained by recent studies, there seems to be something more Perhaps it has something to do with the rythmic and relaxing nature of the exercise, but many people report that their clearest and most creative thinking happens when walking.

The benefits of exercise include better sleep, a healthier immune system, weight control, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes Now you can add better brain power to that list Why not take a walk today?

About the Author

Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower enhancement, creative problem solving, and related topics for years Learn more, and subscribe to his free Mind Power Course, at: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com

Sunday, December 15, 2013




1. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower 1blood sugar level.
This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.

2. Overeating

It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading
to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking

It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High Sugar consumption

Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5. Air Pollution

The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6. Sleep Deprivation

Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Head covered while sleeping

Sleeping with the head covered, increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Working your brain during illness

Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts

Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

10. Talking Rarely

Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain

Source: http://www.facebook.com/notes/priyas-recipes/avoid-the-top-10-biggest-brain-damaging-habits/483222045068534

Sunday, December 8, 2013




By: Dindo F. Mojica, C.E., M.Eng

Review: Reasons of Failing the CE Board Exams (Please visit the link) 

Common Reasons Why Candidates Failed the CE Board Exams
1.       Low Self-Esteem
2.       Poor Study Habits
3.       Poor Memory
4.       Fear/Tension

Some CE reviewees/candidates flunk the CE board exams due to some reasons. Failing the CE Board Exams can be one of the most devastating/toughest life experiences of a CE reviewee/candidate, most especially to the honor graduates (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) when they were not expecting to fail the CE board exams.

CE board exam failure can be one of the many “hurdles” you will have to experience and to surpass in your life and I’m sure that this event, you will have possibilities to learn and rise above CE board exam failure. As the saying goes, “Failure improves the taste of victory.” Just always remember that CE board exam failure will not hinder you in achieving your dreams: to become a licensed CIVIL ENGINEER!

Let me share to you the STAGES OF CHANGE By Elizabeth Kubler Ross when it is applicable to candidates who flunk the CE board exams.

This is how CE reviewees who flunked the CE board exams undergo the stages of change. But it depends on the reviewees’ point of view and capacity on how to accept reality and be ready to move forward, re-take the CE board exams and pass it!

DENIAL – “That’s not true! I didn’t fail the CE board exams.” (Hindi totoo yan! Hindi ako bumagsak sa CE board exams.”)

ANGER – “Why is it that I’m dumb? Those examiners are responsible on why I experiencing it.” (“Bakit ka kasi ako bobo? Ang mga examiners ang may kasalanan kung bakit ako nagkakaganito.”)

DEPRESSION – “There is no hope. I had reached my limitations.” (“Wala nang pag-asa. Hanggang dito na lang ang kakayahan ko.”)

BARGAINING – “If 1% is lacking to reach to the passing rate, I wander I pass.” (“Kung umabot lang sana ako ng 1% sa passing rate, sana pumasa ako.”)

ACCEPTANCE – “I flunk the CE board exams; I need to accept it and next time I will pass it! I’m going to review harder! I’m going to be an engineer! (“Bumagsak ako sa CE board exams. Kailangan kong tanggapin ito at dapat bumawi ako sa susunod! Mas sisipagan kong magreview! Magiging engineer ako!”)

Here are my tips on how to overcome your “doomsday” mindset


Just always remember that everything happens for a reason. In God’s appointed time, you will pass the CE board exams. Just like I said in my previous post that God helps who helped themselves. Only GOD knows your heart’s desire. Allow yourself to fail on purpose. Just keep on trusting and believing in God’s purpose. Don’t forget to pray. Just keep the faith. And always remember: "Our mistakes, our failures, our poor chances don't have to keep us from our God-given destiny. With God, it's not about the way you start in life, it's about the way you finish." 


Just take your time; reviewees don’t usually recover from an exam failure overnight. It takes time for the emotions to heal. In this period, you must realize on how to get back on track and perform better. Don’t blame yourself in failing the CE board exams. Just have a positive attitude and outlook in life; I will rise again!


Talk to your family, closest friends and other people whom you trust that you didn’t pass your CE board exams. By sharing your pain with them, you will feel comfortable and the pain you feel inside will lessen and will ease gradually (healing period; lilipas din iyan). Avoid sharing your pain to other people (whom you’re not close to it); those people will mock and tease you (pupulaan ka lang; akala mo na kung sinong napakagaling). Just remember this: “Allow your exam failure to serve as an opportunity to strengthen your determination to pass the CE board exam in the midst of criticism.”


The most important period of assessing yourself is to analyze your mistakes. You must know your mistakes so that you can avoid it next time. Even if you fail the CE board exams, there is really no need to worry. Just remember that failing the CE board exams does not make you a failure in life and it is not the end of your world.


Again, you must forget what happened on your exams and move on. You must start planning to review again and assess your new priorities together with your strengths and weaknesses. Learn to stay positive in all you do to have better concentration in review. You must get back on track if you’re going to review again by self-method or attending again a commercial review program (review, refresher or coaching) of your choice.

If you had secure your grades from the PRC (premises or online), you must again assess your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you pass Mathematics and Design but you fail in Hydraulics, devote more time on studying your weaknesses; revise your study schedules and maintain a good reviewing attitude. This time, you must review harder and having a stronger determination/will.


Failure can help you discover your best-self. It teaches us the will power, persistence, patience, self-discipline and the values of hardwork and never-giving up attitude. Just remember that failure is a stepping stone to a stronger, more resilient “you”. Treat failure as a gift of learning, a moral lesson on what not to do in the future and another opportunity to be better and become a newly-registered/licensed civil engineer.

I just want to share with you a poem from Tim Connor

Knowing How To Overcome Failure Is Part Of Being Successful
by Tim Connor 

"Failure." It's only a word. But it carries with it so much pain and so little concern, so much frustration and so little respect, so much stress and so little understanding that people spend their lives running through their days in the hope of avoiding the long arm of this little word.

To test your vision, you must risk failure.

To temper your ego, you must attempt the impossible.

To tell your story, you must take a chance.

To see beyond the horizon, you must spread your wings.

To be all you can be, you must stretch, flex, try, and go beyond your proven limits.

To bridge the silence, you must risk rejection.

To advance into the unknown, you must risk the peril of all your previous beliefs and emotions that feel so secure.

Failure is not negative. It is a teacher. It molds, refines, and polishes you so that one day your light will shine for all to see.

It isn't the failure you experience that will determine your destiny, but your next step and then the next that will tell the story of your life.

Good luck future civil engineers!


"A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame others for his failures. He doesn’t become a failure until he is satisfied with being one. Here is an observation that saddens me: Some people retire in life too early. They just give up. DON’T!"
—  Francis Kong

Ok, so you have failed. Move on. Do not let time to creep in and allow that particular failure to define you. The time that elapsed between the “failure” and the time you start moving is crucial.
—  Francis Kong

Failure is not my enemy. Ziglar says today’s failure is fertilizer for tomorrow’s success. Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid that you have not even tried. Learn from each episode and become stronger and wiser in the process.
—  Francis Kong


This tip/advice is only applicable to reviewees who are willing to undergo “good” change. It depends on the reviewees capacity, attitude and in case-to-case basis.  


Overcoming Procrastination


By: Steve Pavlina


Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Side effects include missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt. This article will explore the root causes of procrastination and give you several practical tools to overcome it.

The behavior pattern of procrastination can be triggered in many different ways, so you won't always procrastinate for the same reason. Sometimes you'll procrastinate because you're overwhelmed with too much on your plate, and procrastination gives you an escape. Other times you'll feel tired and lazy, and you just can't get going.

Let's now address these various causes of procrastination and consider intelligent ways to respond.

1. Stress

When you feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it's hard to work productively. In certain situations procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep your stress levels under control. A wise solution is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to. One of the simplest ways to reduce stress is to take more time for play.

In his book The Now Habit, Dr. Neil Fiore suggests that making time for guaranteed fun can be an effective way to overcome procrastination. Decide in advance what blocks of time you'll allocate each week to family time, entertainment, exercise, social activities, and personal hobbies. Then schedule your work hours using whatever time is left. This can reduce the urge to procrastinate because you work will not encroach on your leisure time, so you don't have to procrastinate on work in order to relax and enjoy life. I caution against overusing this strategy, however, as your work should normally be enjoyable enough that you're motivated to do it. If you aren't inspired by your daily work, admit that you made a mistake in choosing the wrong career path; then seek out a new direction that does inspire you.

Benjamin Franklin advised that the optimal strategy for high productivity is to split your days into one third work, one third play, and one third rest. Once again the suggestion is to guarantee your leisure time. Hold your work time and your play time as equally important, so one doesn't encroach upon the other.

I'm most productive when I take abundant time for play. This helps me burn off excess stress and enjoy life more, and my work life is better when I'm happier. I also create a relaxed office environment that reduces stress levels. My office includes healthy plants, a fountain, and several scented candles. I often listen to relaxing music while I work. Despite all the tech equipment, my office has a very relaxed feel to it. Because I enjoy being there, I can work a full day without feeling overly stressed or anxious, even when I have a lot to do. For additional tips to make your work environment more peaceful and relaxing, read the article 10 Ways to Relaxify Your Workspace.

2. Overwhelm

Sometimes you may have more items on your to-do list than you can reasonably complete. This can quickly lead to overwhelm, and ironically you may be more likely to procrastinate when you can least afford it. Think of it as your brain refusing to cooperate with a schedule that you know is unreasonable. In this case the message is that you need to stop, reassess your true priorities, and simplify.

Options for reducing schedule overwhelm include elimination, delegation, and negotiation. First, review your to-dos and cut as much as you can. Cut everything that isn't truly important. This should be a no-brainer, but it's amazing how poorly people actually implement it. People cut things like exercise while leaving plenty of time for TV, even though exercise invigorates them and TV drains them. When you cut items, be honest about removing the most worthless ones first, and retain those that provide real value. Secondly, delegate tasks to others as much as possible. Ask for extra help if necessary. And thirdly, negotiate with others to free up more time for what's really important. If you happen to have a job that overloads you with more work than you feel is reasonable, it's up to you to decide if it's worthwhile to continue in that situation. Personally I wouldn't tolerate a job that pushed me to overwork myself to the point of feeling overwhelmed; that's counterproductive for both the employer and the employee.

Be aware that the peak performers in any field tend to take more vacation time and work shorter hours than the workaholics. Peak performers get more done in less time by keeping themselves fresh, relaxed, and creative. By treating your working time as a scarce resource rather than an uncontrollable monster that can gobble up every other area of your life, you'll be more balanced, focused, and effective.

It's been shown that the optimal work week for most people is 40-45 hours. Working longer hours than this actually has such an adverse effect on productivity and motivation that less real work gets done. This is especially true for creative, information age work.

Don't just take my word for it though; test this concept for yourself. Many years ago I ran a simple experiment to determine how efficiently I was working. I measured my efficiency ratio as the number of hours I spent doing important work divided by the number of hours I spent in my office each week. The first time I did this I was shocked to find that I only got 15 hours of real work done while spending 60 hours in my office, an efficiency ratio of 25%. Can you believe that? Over the following weeks, I increased my productivity dramatically while spending far fewer hours in my office. By limiting my work hours, I actually got more done. You can read the details in the article Triple Your Personal Productivity. I now know that working long hours is huge mistake, and I challenge you to discover this truth for yourself.

3. Laziness

Often we procrastinate because we feel too physically and/or emotionally drained to work. Once we fall into this pattern, it's easy to get stuck due to inertia because an object at rest tends to remain at rest. When you feel lazy, even simple tasks seem like too much work because your energy is too low compared to the energy required by the task. If you blame the task for being too difficult or tedious, you'll procrastinate to conserve energy. But the longer you do this, the more your resolve will weaken, and your procrastination habit may begin spiraling toward depression. Feeling weak and unmotivated shouldn't be your norm, so it's important to disrupt this pattern as soon as you become aware of it.

The solution is straightforward: get off your butt and physically move your body. Exercise helps to raise your energy levels. When your energy is high, tasks will seem to get easier, and you'll be less resistant to taking action. A fit person can handle more activity than an unfit person, even though the difficulty of the tasks remains the same.

Through trial and error, I discovered that diet and exercise are critical in keeping my energy consistently high. I went vegetarian in 1993 and vegan in 1997, and these dietary improvements gave me a significant ongoing energy boost. When I exercise regularly, my metabolism stays high throughout the day. I rarely procrastinate due to laziness because I have the energy and mental clarity to tackle whatever comes my way. Tasks seem easier to complete than they did when my diet and exercise habits were poor. The tasks are the same, but I've grown stronger. A wonderful side benefit of the diet/exercise habit is that I was able to get by with less sleep. I used to need at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested, but now I function well on about 6.5 hours.

The most energizing foods are raw fruits and vegetables. Make your diet abundant in these foods, and you'll likely see a marked improvement in your energy levels. The first week or two, however, you may temporarily feel worse as your body takes the opportunity to detox. Erin and I each lost seven pounds the first week we went vegan. Once the dairy clog finally got cleaned out, our intestines were better able to metabolize everything we ate from then on. We later learned that this is actually quite common. There's a good reason baby cows need four stomachs to digest their mother's milk. Human beings can't metabolize dairy products properly, so the partially digested cow proteins float through the bloodstream and must be eliminated as toxins (i.e. poisons). This requires even more energy, which can leave you feeling more tired than you otherwise would.

You'll have to decide for yourself how far you want to take this. I suggest you try different dietary changes for only 30 days at first to see how it affects you. That's how I went vegetarian and later vegan. In each case I went into the challenge fully expecting to revert back at the end of the 30 days, but I liked the results so much that I couldn't fathom going back. Don't take my word for this. Experiment for yourself, and discover what health habits work best for you. For more tips see the article How to Find the Best Diet for You.

4. Lack of Motivation

We all experience temporary laziness at times, but if you suffer from chronically low motivation and just can't seem to get anything going, then it's time for you to let go of immature thought patterns, to embrace life as a mature adult, and to discover your true purpose in life. Until you identify an inspiring purpose, you'll never come close to achieving your potential, and your motivation will always remain weak.

For more than a decade I ran a computer game publishing company. That was a dream of mine in my early 20s, and it was wonderful to be able to fulfill that dream. However, as I entered my 30s, I began feeling much less passionate about it. I was competent at what I did, the business was doing well financially, and I enjoyed plenty of free time. But I just didn't care that much about entertainment software anymore. As my passion faded, I started asking, "What's the point of continuing with this line of work?" Consequently, I procrastinated on some projects that could have moved the business forward. I tried to boost my motivation using a variety of techniques but to no avail. Finally I recognized what I really needed was a total career change. I needed to find a more inspiring career path.

After much soul searching, I retired from the gaming industry and launched StevePavlina.com. What an amazing change that was! I found renewed passion in helping people grow, so I didn't have to use motivation-boosting techniques to get going. I was naturally inspired to work. I still feel totally inspired. Best of all I procrastinated less on non-work tasks too -- my passion spread across all areas of my life.

Center your work around an inspiring purpose, and you'll greatly reduce your tendency to procrastinate. If you haven't already done so, listen to Podcast #15 - What Is Your Purpose?. Finding your purpose is a powerful way to defeat procrastination problems because you won't procrastinate on what you love to do. Chronic procrastination is actually a big warning sign that tells us, "You're going the wrong way. Take a different path!"

Once you've centered your life around an inspiring purpose, then you can take advantage of certain motivational techniques to boost your motivation even higher. For some specific motivational tips, read the article Cultivating Burning Desire.

5. Lack of Discipline

Even when motivation is high, you may still encounter tasks you don't want to do. In these situations self-discipline works like a motivational backup system. When you feel motivated, you don't need much discipline, but it sure comes in handy when you need to get something done but really don't want to do the work. If your self-discipline is weak, however, procrastinating will be too tempting to resist.

I've written a six-part series on how to develop your self-discipline, so I'll simply refer you there: Self-Discipline Series. I know this is a lot of reading, but my goal isn't to write a cutesy article you'll read once and soon forget. If you really want to overcome procrastination, you must release any attachment to the fantasy of a quick fix, and commit to making real progress. Hopefully you have the maturity to recognize that reading a single article won't cure your procrastination problems overnight, just as a single visit to the gym won't make you an athlete.

6. Poor Time Management Habits

Do you ever find yourself falling behind because you overslept, because you were too disorganized, or because certain tasks just fell through the cracks? Bad habits like these often lead to procrastination, often unintentionally.

The solution in this case is to diagnose the bad habit that's hurting you and devise a new habit to replace it. For example, if you have a problem oversleeping, take up the challenge of becoming an early riser. To de-condition the old habit and install the new one, I recommend the 30-day trial method. Many readers have found this method extremely effective because it makes permanent change much easier.

For tasks you've been putting off for a while, I recommend using the timeboxing method to get started. Here's how it works: First, select a small piece of the task you can work on for just 30 minutes. Then choose a reward you will give yourself immediately afterwards. The reward is guaranteed if you simply put in the time; it doesn't depend on any meaningful accomplishment. Examples include watching your favorite TV show, seeing a movie, enjoying a meal or snack, going out with friends, going for a walk, or doing anything you find pleasurable. Because the amount of time you'll be working on the task is so short, your focus will shift to the impending pleasure of the reward instead of the difficulty of the task. No matter how unpleasant the task, there's virtually nothing you can't endure for just 30 minutes if you have a big enough reward waiting for you.

When you timebox your tasks, you may discover that something very interesting happens. You will probably find that you continue working much longer than 30 minutes. You will often get so involved in a task, even a difficult one, that you actually want to keep working on it. Before you know it, you've put in an hour or even several hours. The certainty of your reward is still there, so you know you can enjoy it whenever you're ready to stop. Once you begin taking action, your focus shifts away from worrying about the difficulty of the task and toward finishing the current piece of the task which now has your full attention.

When you do decide to stop working, claim and enjoy your reward. Then schedule another 30-minute period to work on the task with another reward. This will help you associate more and more pleasure to the task, knowing that you will always be immediately rewarded for your efforts. Working toward distant and uncertain long-term rewards is not nearly as motivating as immediate short-term rewards. By rewarding yourself for simply putting in the time, instead of for any specific achievements, you'll be eager to return to work on your task again and again, and you'll ultimately finish it. You may also want to read my article on Timeboxing.

If you find that clutter and disorganization are hurting you, I suggest you read the article Getting Organized. For a compelling overview of effective time management principles, read Time Management. And for a giant list of specific time management tips you can apply right away, read Do It Now.

7. Lack of Skill

If you lack sufficient skill to complete a task at a reasonable level of quality, you may procrastinate to avoid a failure experience. You then have three viable options to overcome this type of pattern: educate, delegate, or eliminate.

First, you can acquire the skill level you need by training up. Just because you can't do something today doesn't mean you'll never be able to do it. Someday you may even master that skill. For example, when I wanted to create my first website in 1995, I didn't know how to do it because I'd never done it before. But I knew I could learn to do it. I took the time to learn HTML, and I experimented. It didn't take long before I launched a functional web site. In the years since then, I continued to apply and upgrade that skill. If you can't do something, don't whine about it. Educate yourself to gain skill until you become proficient.

A second option is to delegate tasks you lack the skill to do. There are far too many interesting skills for you to master, so you must rely on others for help. You may not realize it, but you're already a master at delegation. Do you grow all your own food? Did you sew your own clothes? Did you build your own house? Chances are that you depend on others for your very survival. If you want a certain result but don't want to acquire the skills to get that result, you can recruit others to help you. For example, I don't want to spend my days trying to understand the details of the U.S. tax code, so I delegate that task to my accountant. This frees me to spend more time working from my strengths.

Thirdly, you may conclude that a result isn't needed badly enough to justify the effort of either education or delegation. In that case the smart choice is to eliminate the task. Sometimes procrastination is a sign that a task needn't be done at all.

When I was in college, I felt that certain assignments were pointless busywork, and I couldn't justify the effort required to do them. If the impact on my grade wasn't too great, I'd decline to do those assignments. Nobody cares that I received an A- instead of an A in a class because I declined to write an essay on gestural languages. If an employer or graduate school screener ever did care, I'd have turned the experience to my advantage by using it to demonstrate that I could set priorities.

8. Perfectionism

A common form of erroneous thinking that leads to procrastination is perfectionism. Believing that you must do something perfectly is a recipe for stress, and you'll associate that stress with the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it. So you put the task off to the last possible minute until you finally have a way out of this trap. Now there isn't enough time to do the job perfectly, so you're off the hook because you can tell yourself that you could have been perfect if you only had more time. But if you have no specific deadline for a task, perfectionism can cause you to delay indefinitely.

The solution to perfectionism is to give yourself permission to be human. Have you ever used a piece of software that you consider to be perfect in every way? I doubt it. Realize that an imperfect job completed today is always superior to the perfect job delayed indefinitely.

Perfectionism also arises when you think of a project as one gigantic whole. Replace that one big "must be perfect" project in your mind with one small imperfect first step. Your first draft can be very, very rough. You're always free to revise it later. For example, if you want to write a 5000-word article, allow your first draft be only 100 words if it helps you get started.

Some of these cures are challenging to implement, but they're effective. If you really want to tame the procrastination beast, you'll need something stronger than quick-fix motivational rah-rah. This problem isn't going away on its own. You must take the initiative. The upside is that tackling this problem yields tremendous personal growth. You'll become stronger, braver, more disciplined, more driven, and more focused. These benefits will become hugely significant over your lifetime, so recognize that the challenge of overcoming procrastination is truly a blessing in disguise. The whole point is to grow stronger.


Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

The Science of Procrastination - And How To Manage It (Video)