"If it's such a good idea, why aren't I doing it...?" Whether its becoming more organized, doing schoolwork or finally getting into the exercise habit, procrastination is an all too common obstacle. We may start out with the best of intentions, yet somehow manage to talk ourselves out of even getting started. Luckily there is a little known persuasion technique that may be useful to you.
The way we internalize information has an effect on how we feel about it. Generally speaking, when think about an activity we don't like, we tend to focus on all the miniscule details that will be involved. For example, the reluctant exerciser may dwell on the fact that going to the gym involves, “fighting traffic and driving all the way out to the health club, then trying to find a parking spot, then hoping a locker is available and having to get out of my regular clothes” and so on. In contrast, when we think about something we enjoy doing, we usually divide the steps into larger chunks of information. “I'm going to the gym, going to workout and then head home.” Notice the difference?
In persuasive language if we want to influence another towards a particular behavior we should describe it in a way that that it will be relatively quick, easy and simple for them. If we are trying to persuade someone away from a given course of action we will want to emphasize the complexity and difficulty involved. In a similar way we can use the same technique on ourselves in areas of living where we want to end procrastination. Perhaps there is a lot of hidden wisdom in Nike's “Just Do It!” slogan.
James Malone is a Certified Hypnotist and publisher of the Creative Calm online newsletter. You can learn more about the use of clinical hypnosis at http://www.njhypno.com