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I prefer to think of procrastination as anxiety manifest in movement or the lack thereof - movement when we find other things to do and a type of paralysis otherwise.

Calling one's self "lazy" for instance, is both an excellent and insidious means of getting out of the work as the actual anxiety is entirely avoided. It is also completely map-adaptive as the thing of which you are worried can smack you upside the head when you're not looking.

Instead, the first thing I tend to do is consider "what is the anxiety?" That, at least, let's me face it down directly, rather than have it unconsciously show up in procrastinating acts. Works of particularly large size tend to connect to feelings of self-worth, worsened by the sense that it may not be completed, as it is so large. Creative works in particular can carry the oddly simultaneous senses of "This is great!" and "This is terrible!" further confounding matters.

My own version of handling this, beyond iteratively addressing the question of "What is the anxiety?" is to:
  • Start Small (break it down into next actions as Lizard and GeoffAirey mention)
  • Start Early (meaning put the work in front of me immediately if possible)
  • Start Often (meaning set the task to repeat).

That way I don't have to finish the work at any one session and I buffer against any due dates, too. Hope this helps.

- Kourosh

Last edited by Kourosh; 2013-09-12 at 08:20 AM.. Reason: Spelling