How to stop procrastination.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Time running out

Procrastination.

To avoid procrastination do the hardest thing first.

Having an unpleasant chore hanging over your head creates a lot of stress. Doing things that are unpleasant now for a future benefit tends to get put off. Putting off that unpleasant chore and dealing with what is hanging over your head uses up a lot of energy. You’re only going to have so much willpower and when it’s gone nothing gets accomplished. By doing the hard thing first, you make the rest of your day that much easier. Completing a task you didn’t want to do, can give you a feeling of accomplishment and make you feel extra productive. With that one big thing off your list, you can breeze through several smaller chores.

Increase your productivity by creating a second morning.

If you’re one of those people who is most productive first thing in the day, but your productivity drops off as the day progresses, consider breaking your day into two segments. When you come back from lunch or shortly after that, revise your to-do list. Crossing off the things you’ve already completed will give you a sense of accomplishment. Begin the second part of your day by tackling the remaining “hardest to do” task.

If a new challenging project has cropped up, you can get it out of the way while you still have some energy rather than carrying it over until a tomorrow which may never arrive. This two-part day will leave you with primarily smaller, easier to do things to tackle at the end of your day when your energy is running low.

To defeat procrastination, break difficult projects into chunks.

When we are faced with large projects, they seem overwhelming. It’s natural to procrastinate when you’re overwhelmed. Breaking a large project into smaller parts allows you to whittle that project down to a manageable size. Tackle the overwhelming the same way you would eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Do a time challenge to reduce procrastination.

Your day can slip by in those short 10-minute intervals between other things. When you have 10 or 15 minutes left before the next thing you need to do, or place you need to go, set a time challenge. Don’t tell yourself you don’t have enough time. Ask yourself how much of this project can I get done in these 10 or 15 minutes, I have available to work on my project.

Increase your focus by reducing your distractions.

Close your email browser. Turn off your cell phone. Close the door to your office if you can. When I’m writing, I wear a pair of headphones playing relaxing background music. This keeps me from being distracted by conversations and sounds in the environment. If you’re only going to have 10 minutes to work on something, give it your full attention.

Perfection is the enemy of productivity.

Trying to do everything perfectly can result in you getting nothing accomplished. The illusion that you need to write a perfect book has kept many a would-be writer from ever finishing their book. Some things only need to be good enough. Productive writers know that you must start by producing a messy, imperfect, first draft before they have something to revise and edit. Ask yourself just how perfect this project needs to be. Invest your time and energy into the important things rather than trying to do less critical tasks perfectly.

Don’t wait until you can make time to do something.

The idea that you can “make time” to do something you have been putting off is a mirage. There’s no way to make any more time. Each week consists of 168 hours. If you want to be financially stable, you need a money budget. If you’re going to be productive, you need to budget your time. You may be able to borrow money, but you can’t borrow time and pay it back next week. Create a time budget. Invest a little of your time each day into getting something accomplished, and at the end of the week, you can see how small investments of time compound.

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.

Focusing on how much you must do and how hard it will be to do it uses up a lot of time that could be better spent working on the tasks at hand. Narrow your vision to the one thing on your to-do list. Get as much done on that thing as you can, using the time and resources you have. If you tell yourself, you can’t do something you won’t be able to do it. Tell yourself you can do it and watch what can happen.

Avoid procrastination by making a public commitment.

Announce your projects to the world. Tell a friend. Tell your family. Tell someone at work. Once you’ve announced that you are going to do something positive, peer pressure will increase your motivation to get it done. When we tell ourselves what we are going to do, it’s easy to lie to yourself. When you have told someone else what you plan to do, there’s an extra incentive to get it done.

Plan a project-marathon.

If you’re the type of person who works best in chunks, block off an afternoon, or a day, and challenge yourself to see how much you can get done when you work on one thing and only that one thing for a set period. I sign up each year for NaNoWriMo (the national novel writing month contest.) I commit to trying to write a 50,000-word novel during the 30 days of November. Having that self-imposed deadline has resulted in my finishing novels three years in a row. These novels are first drafts and need a lot of revision but participating in these writing marathons gets something accomplished.

Why do you procrastinate?

Most people procrastinate because they have too many things on their to-do list. Why you procrastinate is not as important as learning how to put an end to the procrastination monster. Learn to say no. Scratch some things off that to-do list. Make it a point to decide what’s important and do that first. Once you’ve simplified your to-do list, apply some of the anti-procrastination tips in this blog post, and watch your productivity sore.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller.

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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17 Habits of unhappy people.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Unhappy emoticon

Unhappy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are these habits keeping you miserable?

1. Keeping Secrets – covering up your mistakes.

Happy people learn to admit mistakes when they make them and then try to stop making the same ones over and over. It takes way more work to cover up your faults than to admit them and change your actions.

Keeping secrets isolates you from others and can damage relationships.

2. Trying to please others – be someone else.

Spending your life trying to please others is a sure prescription for unhappiness. Trying to be someone or something you are not will keep you stuck in your misery. Learn to accept who you are and move towards who you chose to be. Make yourself happy and others will find it easier to like you. Try to please everyone and you will please no one, especially not yourself.

3. Trying to find someone who will fix you.

No one can make you happy. Happiness is an inside job. Happy people attract other happy people and miserable people draw misery to them.  You do not find the perfect friend or lover and then become happy. You become a happy person and then you can be with others or alone and still be happy.

4. Holding on to regrets over past mistakes keeps you unhappy.

Regrets keep you stuck in the past. Happy people are happy in the now. Let the regrets go and move towards the what you can be.

5. Putting off until tomorrow – Procrastination perpetuates unhappiness.

Unhappy people expect the worst. As a result, they never do today what they can put off until tomorrow. Happy people make the effort. If only part of what they try to do works out they have accomplished a lot.

6. Waiting for something else to happen first delays happiness.

Do not wait for a good time to go back to school or a better time to find a job you will love. Start the process now and things will begin to happen.  Do not put off doing things that will improve your happiness until some other day, month or year.

7. Letting fear keep you from trying again keeps you unhappy.

Learn from your mistakes. Try to do things better, smarter and safer. If you have been in a bad relationship check the next one out carefully before you commit. If you are unhappy in your job, take a look at why. Consider that if you can change you, then any job can be a happy one. If you stay in unhappiness all work settings will keep you miserable.

8. Comparing yourself to everyone else emphasizes what you do not have.

You are you, others are others. Unhappy people keep comparing themselves to others. If you look long enough you will always find someone who has accomplished more than you.

The State Senior could compare himself to the governor, he didn’t get elected Governor. The Governor might compare himself to the President. Each and every President could compare themselves to Washington or Lincoln. How many politicians can be the founders of their country?

Just how many other people do you need to be better than to feel OK about yourself?

Stop making comparisons and accept you for you.

9. Feeling sorry for yourself keeps you in misery.

Feeling sorry can provide excuses for your failures. Too much time on the reason why can take the focus off what could be.

Do not stay stuck in self-pity. Get into action and see where a few steps can take you.

10. Trying to get even perpetuates the hurts.

Revenge is a fire that can consume you and everything in your life. The best revenge is a successful life. Unhappy people plot revenge. Happy people plan for their own successful life.

11. Mistreating yourself guarantees unhappiness.

Others may have been unfair to you; they may even have abused you. Do not keep up the abuse. Unhappy people do not take care of themselves, they self-abuse. Engaging in good self-care is the first step to happiness.

12. Staying too busy to have fun prevents happiness.

Day after day of obligation can melt into a life lived for others. Carve out time to do things just because you like them. Do more that you enjoy and you become happier and the rest of your life is happier.

13. Trying to be perfect keeps happiness moving away.

Perfectionism is the great enemy of happiness. It is an unobtainable goal that keeps moving farther away. Aim high but cut yourself slack when you do not reach all the way to the top.

Nature knows there is no such thing as perfection. One sunset does not try to outdo another; each is there for us to savor. The most beautiful of flowers often have a small imperfection if you look closely. Do not let your inner beauty be obscured by a few imperfections.

Those flaws and scars you have accumulated are the facets that make you the gem you are.

14. Taking the easy way out does not lead to happiness.

Doing only the easy things never lets you stretch and grow to your full potential. In recovery, you need to learn to crawl. Eventually, you need to get up and take a few steps. Those first efforts may result in some falls. Do not let this deter you from walking and eventually running.

Avoiding challenges are a guaranteed way to stay stuck in your unhappiness.

15. If you spend all your efforts avoiding the negative – you are creating it.

You can’t solve problems by running from them. Turn towards your challenges, approach them and they often get smaller.

A life lived in fear, avoiding the negative in your life, will leave those things a part of your life. Face your defects down, fix what you can and accept the ones you can’t.

16. Ignoring your unmet needs prevents happiness.

No good parent would leave their child unfed. If you have a pet in your life you feed it and sometimes you have to clean up after it. But when it comes to your needs, the unhappy person will leave their inner person unfed.

It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Make getting your needs met a priority. Those needs include safety and new challenges. Do not go overboard and create a diet of only meeting one need.

A happy person feels free to tell others about their needs and to ask for support in meeting those needs. If those around you are not taking your needs seriously make sure you work harder at expressing those needs. Set a good example of meeting these needs yourself. If those around you still do not recognize your legitimate needs consider if these relationships are healthy.

17.  Letting Fear of failure paralyze you stops the creation of happiness.

When under stress the brain reverts to the most primitive mechanisms. Fear can set you into a freeze, flight or fight response.

Be very careful to avoid the stuck-in-fear response. Freezing will keep you stuck. Flight will leave your problems to grow. Taking positive action can get those issues in your life you have been hiding from back under control.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

6 Ways Fear of Failure prevents success

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Fear of Failure wears disguises.

Some fear of failure may be protective; it gets us to do things we need to do and to avoid other dangerous things. But excessive fear of failure likes to wear disguises, that way it doesn’t get blamed for all the ways it prevents our successes.

1. Fear of failure is a primary cause of procrastination.

The longer you put off doing anything the more last-minute it is, the less responsibility you need to take for the results.

You can avoid some fear and anxiety by not doing the paper, project or work-related task. Then when you do it last-minute you can say that this is not your best work. The procrastination has given you an out for why this project is not done well.

The result – you are not a failure when your task fails.

2. Fear of failure makes us missing in action.

Lots of people are so afraid that they will not do something perfectly that they do nothing. Similar to procrastination this method keeps us from feeling that it is our fault when we do not succeed. We didn’t do anything so there was nothing to fail at.

This is a large cause of writer’s block. If you are afraid that what you write today will not be any good, that is a good reason to not write anything today. Let’s face it, not all posts turn out to be great ones. Some don’t even make it to the so-so category.

String a row of days of non-writing together and you become a non-writer. No more negative comments or reviews.

3. We do the minimum to get by to avoid the fear of failure.

Fear of failure can also prevent us from sticking our necks out. If you do too much you get noticed. Do only the easy things, never aim too high and you can avoid a lot of failure in life.

Never volunteer an idea and you won’t get stuck doing the work. You won’t get the credit if it goes well but you also will not get the blame when it fails. It is a lot easier and safer to criticize others for why things went wrong than to risk yourself on trying to make things better.

Do the minimum and you also avoid any possibility of success.

4. We begin to look lazy and apathetic to avoid the fear of failure.

A similar strategy to doing the minimum is to pretend you do not care. If you do not care if you are inherently lazy and unconcerned, then how can anyone fault you for doing poorly at things you never cared about doing in the first place?

We expect nothing from lazy people and they customarily live down to our expectations. Stay lazy my friends and avoid any risk of failure or success.

5. We avoid any situation where others might judge us.

Don’t go for a job interview and you avoid being turned down. Drop out of school and you do not have to take tests. Avoid being around others and they will never judge you.

This strategy will help you avoid failure. It will also keep you unemployed, under-educated and living off the system, in poverty, for the rest of your life. You will have avoided being judged but at what price?

6. We become perfectionists and set impossible goals to avert failure.

This may well be the sneakiest way of all to avoid failure. Set impossibly high goals. Always do too much work constantly and then when one of your many tasks does not turn out up to the standard you have a ready-made excuse. Who could blame you for failing at a few things what with all the things you have to do?

More tomorrow on those perfectionists and how they avoid both success and failure.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

6 Reasons You Procrastinate

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure sign

Success or failure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Why do you procrastinate?

Anyone can procrastinate some of the time. Some of us seem to be plagued by more procrastination than others. Procrastination can result in all manner of life problems, from conflicts with spouses to job failure or loss. With so many negative consequences of procrastination, why do so many of us procrastinate and why do some of us procrastinate so much?

Six factors appear to be major contributors to procrastination. No one factor seems to be solely responsible and you may experience one or more of these causes. There are listed in roughly their order of importance based on some rather old research studies but most of us can and do procrastinate for several of the reasons on this list.

1. Fear of Failure fuels procrastination.

As we talk about fear of failure it is easy to see why being afraid you might fail at something would cause you to avoid doing it. Who wants to have to do something that has a high chance of failure?

Fear of failure is a major reason for procrastinating but it is not the only reason.

2. Lack of energy increases procrastination.

Not having the energy results in putting off things we know we should do but just can’t seem to get to. This is the consequence of over scheduling, having just too much to do. Most of us are guilty of trying to do too much in life.

If you can’t say no and you keep taking on projects for others or at their insistence, you can run out of time and energy. Sometimes you just need to rest and that old buddy of yours, procrastination can help by making time for you to rest by putting off things you say you “should be doing” but the reason for doing this is to please others not yourself.

Depression or other physical and mental health issues can also leave you with too few resources to take on that one more task.

3. Task aversion cases procrastination.

It makes sense that we put off things we do not want to do and we do the things we enjoy or at least the things we find less onerous. Not liking something results in it having a low personal priority.

Ever notice you tend to put off the things others want you to do but find the time to do the things that you most enjoy. Most of us do that. Despite the negative consequences, we may experience for failing to do what others, our boss or partner, want us to do. Most of us will do other things first and put off that requested project.

4. Dependency or conformity justify procrastination.

If you find that others requests move to first place, and you are procrastinating about doing things you want to do for yourself, you need to look at your goals and priorities. What are you getting out of sacrificing yourself for others?

Do you fear being different? Conformists avoid criticism. They also do not get noticed. Putting off things that might result in accomplishments may be the result of fear of success making you different from others.

5. Extraversion encourages you to procrastinate.

Extroverts may be procrastinators? Who would have guessed this?

Extroverts like doing things with people and they may go for the fun thing like being around others, attending a party or engaging in social activities, rather than study or do something boring over the weekend.

Extroverts sometimes will put things off because they like to take risks. It is more of a challenge to do the paper the night before it is due. Putting things off adds to that element of risk, that gambler’s instinct, and makes life more exciting.

 6. Rebelliousness expresses its self through procrastination.

Who picked this project anyway?

If you need to do something because someone else said so, one way your brain may protect you from domination by others is to forget to do what you were instructed to do.

So why do you procrastinate? Do you do it for one of these reasons, or do you have your own personal reason for putting things off? Research says that you probably procrastinate some of the time. We all seem to do it at least occasionally. If you are a procrastinator like the rest of us, you probably do it for several of these reasons and some others as well.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

9 ways to be your own worst enemy

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Undesirable person

Undesirable person.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

With a friend like that you don’t need enemies.

Do you treat yourself in a way you wouldn’t take from anyone else? Do you Self Sabotage? There are lots of things we do to ourselves that are not very affirming. You should strive to be your own best friend, not your own worst enemy.

Here are some things that you may be doing to yourself that you would never do to a friend and you probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t accept from someone close to you.

Lying to yourself.

Do you lie to yourself? Make excuses for why it is OK to do things that harm yourself? It is easy to let yourself do unhealthy things. We encourage our family and friends to live healthy all the while ignoring our own self-care.

Overdoing and not saying no.

Are you often overworked, overloaded and behind schedule? Do you have trouble saying no to others and take on more than you should? Sometimes we are afraid to say no to others when they ask us to do things. It is easy to keep saying yes and doing more and more until one day you reach the breaking point. Do you stop and draw boundaries or do you work yourself to death?

Not learning anything new.

Are you uninformed? Do you avoid learning anything that might make you more confident and successful? Self-improvement takes time and effort. Do you invest in yourself or are you so unsure of your self-worth that you neglect to develop and sharpen skills?

Taking time for pleasure.

Is it O. K. for you to enjoy yourself? Do you do things that are just for fun? It is not selfish to take good care of yourself. We all need a little pleasure and relaxation from time to time.

Refuse credit or compliments for things well done.

Do you belittle your own accomplishments and fail to give yourself credit for the things you do well. It is easy to notice and praise others when they do something noteworthy but we often feel uncomfortable accepting praise for things well done.

Put yourself down.

If you repeatedly run yourself down and say negative things about yourself you will start believing those statements. Someone who is called fat and stupid by those around them may begin to think of themselves as fat and stupid. Years later after the bullies and tormentors are gone you may still be calling yourself those names and you may believe that this is the way you really are. If you believe something negative about yourself you may create it happening.

Make sure to say good things about yourself. Do you say good things to yourself every day? Do you praise yourself?

Listen to criticism or let it stop you.

People who are sensitive may be hurt by listening to criticism. Learn how to listen to criticism and decide which things to take and which to leave. Learning to self-monitor and change your behavior are valuable skills. Avoiding criticism may be neglecting to use a valuable source of information.

Let others decide for you.

Do you get your sense of self-worth from outside? People who are constantly looking for others approval look helpless and over needy. You wouldn’t like someone that needy and if you do this you won’t like yourself.

Do anything to get people to like you.

Constantly trying to get people to like you can result in your not being true to yourself and becoming someone so fake that even you would not want yourself around. The more you are acting the way you want to be and the way you want to be is the way your beliefs tell you that you should be the more mentally healthy you will be.

Consider all the ways you may be your own worst enemy and decide to stop self-sabotaging and become your own best friend.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Procrastination gets a bad name?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Procrastination.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If procrastination is so bad why do we do it so much?

With all the articles on the net about the evils of procrastination, you would think that by now it should have been eliminated from this part of the galaxy. Why then do so many people procrastinate if it is so bad for us? What is causing this epidemic of procrastination? Could the procrastinators be on to something the rest of us have missed?

Procrastination is a way of avoiding pain.

People don’t generally procrastinate when it comes to something enjoyable, do they? We use procrastination to avoid things that are painful and uncomfortable. Avoiding pain is generally a good thing.

Procrastination can help us escape things that are unpleasant. It is not as effective as drugs and alcohol but a whole lot less addicting. All in all, not a bad trade-off for avoiding some pain. Of course, pain may be telling us there is something wrong and procrastinating may cost you an arm or leg – literally. but who knows you may not need that limb anyway.

Procrastination may be a way of simplifying our lives.

There was that box of manuals I was supposed to read for work. They were dry and boring. I kept putting off reading them. When I finally came across the box twenty years later I no longer worked at that job, or in that industry. Problem solved. I no longer needed to spend time reading something I never wanted to read in the first place. Could reading them have been helpful? Probably would have been if I had stayed in that field, but not now. Procrastinating saved me a lot of time on that one.

Putting too much work off at a job may result in not having that employment anymore. But not having to get up and go to work is some people’s idea of the simple life

Procrastination could save you money.

People who overspend have a problem with not procrastinating enough. If you could just get yourself to put off a lot of purchases for a few months, you might have enough money left over to buy something really nice. At that point, all that little cheap stuff you would have spent money on would seem trivial by comparison with that one major purchase. Could procrastination be a close cousin of saving?

Poor people use procrastination a lot to manage their money. Don’t pay any bills till they turn your service off. This means you will eliminate paying for trivial things you didn’t really need and will leave extra money for important things like getting the power turned back on.

The downside of using procrastination as a money-saving and rationing method is the extras service fees for late payments and the re-connection fees. But you never know when you might get evicted and then you won’t need to have the power reconnected.

Procrastination saves energy.

With the high heat this summer, we all want to save energy. If I procrastinate enough on the yard work I will have the energy to fan myself while the power is out.

You avoid admitting you don’t know what you are doing or how to do it.

By putting things off long enough you avoid doing them. Often at work or home, someone else will just do it rather than waiting. Since you never do the task no one will ever know that you haven’t a clue how to do it.

You don’t get criticized for doing it wrong.

The person who does the most may make the most mistakes. Even someone with a high batting average has to miss a few. If you let others do all the work, you will never do anything wrong. People who are really good at this can spend their entire careers in their office looking busy despite the fact that they never really accomplish anything.

Procrastination may be a sneaky way to self-sabotage.

There – did that salvage the reputation of procrastination and explain why you may be saying you hate to procrastinate and you will stop doing it one of these days but you just haven’t gotten around to giving up procrastination yet?

There are probably a lot more reasons why procrastination is beneficial but I am going to put off writing about them until sometime in the future.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Creating failure from success – 9 ways to Self-Sabotage

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Roadblock to goal

Roadblock to Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How to self-sabotage.

Many people seem to get right to the threshold of success and then suddenly do exactly the wrong thing, the one action that is likely to create failure.  Here are ways that you might turn your potential success into a failure and some reasons why you might be doing just that.

1. Don’t believe in yourself.

The belief that you don’t deserve success can undermine any effort to improve your life. People who tell themselves they don’t deserve things can’t accept success even when they achieve it. Believe that you are worth having happiness not because you are more special than someone else but because you are the only unique you there is. You are special just like everyone else.

Saying positive affirmations and working on your belief that you deserve success can help this.

Believe that if you try you will be more successful than if you don’t try.  Self-efficacy is the belief that if you make the effort you can do this. Foster that belief in the “Yes I can” times of your life and in the lives of your family and children if you want to risk success.

2. Underestimate yourself and aim low to create failure.

People who believe they can’t do something are rarely surprised. If you aim low enough you will not be disappointed. You can’t hit a target if you don’t aim for it. Closely related to the belief “I can’t do it” is the belief that it is better to not try.

People who set high goals for themselves and then accept that what they achieve is better than not trying are happier and more productive than those who never try for fear of failure. Failures are required for learning and growth. Make lots of mistakes, learn from them and grow. Try to not make huge costly mistakes or repeat the same mistake over and over. But when you do fail, dust yourself off and try again.

Not trying at all will guarantee failure.

3. Accept nothing short of perfection.

Lots of people see things as black and white. They think that if they can’t do something perfectly they are a failure. If you require perfection from yourself eventually you will fail and that just confirms that you are no good and shouldn’t try.

Great basketball players do not hit every shot but they do keep putting the ball up there. Unless you are aiming for failure you need to cut yourself some slack.

Not trying at all is a sure shortcut to failure.

4. When things are going well look for something irresponsible to overdo.

You can work hard for months to become successful and then if you work at it, you can destroy all your progress with a single act.  People, who are working on their finances, trying to get out of debt, can always find something to splurge on and put themselves back in debt.

Have you been looking for work for months? Finally got that interview for a wonderful job? The night before the interview did you go out and get drunk? If you have a really bad hangover you can flush that interview without even trying. Showing up late and hung over eliminates the worry of getting that job.

Better yet, call that prospective new employer from jail. Apologize you can’t see him until you get out, ask for help with bail.

5. Keep testing yourself – find a way to fail.

Trying to stop drinking? Go visit your friends at the bar and see if you can spend the whole evening there without drinking.

On a budget, do lots of window shopping, check every sale and see if you can resist.

Test yourself with temptations you known will sabotage your life reputedly. It is nice to known that it is too hard staying on track and it was not your fault that you yielded to temptation.

Repeat this mantra – “The credit card made me do it.”

6. Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow, or the day after.

Always show up late. Put things off until they are no longer an option. When your ship comes in make sure you are still in bed asleep.

Procrastination is the enemy of success. We all do it because it avoids pain. Sometimes progress is painful. If you are looking for failure you will want to practice procrastination.

7. Never prepare for anything.

People who plan ahead run the risk of accomplishing something. If you fail to plan you have a great plan for failure. Never research anything. Make all decisions impulsively and based on ignorance. Why confuse yourself with facts when you can make lots of mistakes based on no information.

Practice in sports and in life is for winners. If you want to fail, avoid this one.

8. Spend as much time as possible worrying and brooding about your problems.

If you concentrate on worry you can allow your problem to grow while you stay stuck in inactivity. A worried about problem expands until it is impossible to solve. This avoids the need to actually take any action.

Frequent long worry sessions will keep you too busy to do any problems solving.

9. Never evaluate or revise a plan that fails. You knew that nothing was going to turn out all right anyway.

Successful people are constantly reviewing and revising their goals and plans. You don’t want to be like that, do you?

Could you be your own worst enemy?

FINAL THOUGHT

If all of these ideas on how to self-sabotage and prevent success won’t work then you just may be stuck –  Planning ahead, taking action, aiming high, accepting yourself and your successes, learning from and forgiving the times you fail and revising your plans to increases you rate of success.

Best wishes on creating the happy life you deserve.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.