The More You Do – The Better You Feel

How To Learn to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life


While working at my day job as an administrative assistant in midtown Manhattan, co-workers passing my desk would sometimes give me a wink and a nod and ask, “So, how’s that book on overcoming procrastination coming along? I’ll bet you just can’t find the time to get around to it!” You wouldn’t believe some of the good-natured ribbing I endured.

However, if my co-workers had only known the extent that I had changed, I bet that instead of having winks in their eyes, they’d have had winces on their faces. Perhaps, because of my personal transformation from a dyed-in-the-wool habitual procrastinator, into the kind of person whom I like to refer to as a “do”-er. Having been such a habitual procrastinator, the completion of this book is a remarkable achievement because it wasn’t so long ago that I had stopped taking care of many of my day-to-day responsibilities; something you’ll read much more about in the coming chapters.

In fact, I had been a habitual procrastinator for so long that even today, years after having studied business administration in college, I can still recall when I first learned I needed to spend several semester-hours in their “Accounting Workshop.” Funny as it may sound, I put off entering that room until the day I overheard a fellow student refer to it as “Accounting Lab”-somehow, that name change made all the difference for me. I suppose there was something that I truly disliked in that most-dreaded of all the four-letter words, “w-o-r-k.”

So profound was my change, I soon wanted to discover if other procrastinators’ ways of thinking and behaviors were similar to my own, and it didn’t take me long to discover that many did. One early observation I made was how habitual procrastinators are generally impatient-due to their desire for instant results. Another observation was how their minds reconstruct the tasks they don’t want to deal with, into negative scenarios-each accompanied by logical explanations and predictions for why those tasks couldn’t possibly be accomplished. It’s for these reasons that I have endeavored to keep this book as brief as possible by emphasizing clarity, brevity, and most importantly, solutions.

If you’ve read other self-help books, you may find this one to be a bit different than others. For one thing, this book doesn’t concern itself with quick fixes. You won’t find any magic wand solutions within its pages, and you also won’t find a plethora of pop quizzes.

Some books that purport to deal with procrastination offer only half-hearted efforts. Instead of providing a comprehensive understanding of procrastination and how to overcome it, they:

  • Treat habitual procrastination as though it were merely an annoying nuisance that can be defeated by employing cheerleader-like rallying cries such as, “I want you to put your foot down-for once-and for all! Ready! Go for it!” If only it were that easy.
  • Encourage their readers to construct “to-do” lists without regard as to how they should deal with those tasks.
  • Attempt to shame, beg, cajole, or belittle the reader into taking action.

Still other books would have you believe that the secret to overcoming procrastination is by learning to delegate one’s tasks. That might do if your boss provided you with a personal assistant or if you hired a housekeeper, but it wouldn’t teach you anything about overcoming procrastination because it only makes someone else responsible for your mess.

Your goal here is to overcome procrastination by learning how to deal with the things you’ve put off and, in doing so-to regain your self-esteem, which is a natural by-product of personal responsibility.

This book is divided into two sections:

  • Section One explores why we procrastinate, how procrastination can develop into a habit, and how it can diminish your self-esteem by leading you into feelings of depression, anxiety, helplessness, and hopelessness.
  • Section Two deals with the how-to’s of overcoming procrastination. While many procrastinators are convinced that they can think their way into feeling better, non-procrastinators know that we can only act our way into feeling good-and that over-analysis leads to paralysis. Section Two looks at changing old behaviors by considering new methods of “do”-ing. You’ll discover that completing small tasks is the way forward. That no matter how insignificant some tasks may seem, with each and every accomplishment you’ll not only be handling the things that you weren’t able to in the past, you’ll also be restoring your self-esteem.

While you could start out by reading Section Two, I believe you would inadvertently miss out on important background material concerning procrastination, which is why I recommend that you start reading from Section One.

All that changing from a procrastinator, and into a “do”-er takes, is the willingness on your part to challenge your beliefs. As you gradually incorporate changes into your life, new feelings of self-esteem and personal pride will replace old feelings of depression and gloom which came about as a result of not taking care of your needs.

Even if you’ve grown concerned that you may have lost the ability to act on your own behalf, I can assure you that you can regain a great deal more control over your life than you might otherwise believe. This has been my own experience.

It is my sincere and heartfelt hope that this book helps you to start undertaking the tasks you’ve been putting off. In the end, not only will you become a “do”-er, you’ll also discover that taking care of yourself generates positive feelings which you’ll come to relish.

Remember Always:
The More You Do The Better You Feel