Scientific American presents Savvy Psychologist by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

Procrastination is the opposite of inspiration.  It's when we shilly-shally away our time when we’re supposed to be doing something bigger and better. 

Today our topic comes by request from Savvy Psychologist listener Anson N. of San Mateo, CA.  He speaks for millions of us when he asks how to stop procrastinating.

So without further delay, here are 6 tips to help you stay on task.

Tip #1: Change “I have to” to “I want to.”
A subtle shift in perspective can be just the nudge your psyche needs to get moving.  Try changing the dig-in-your-heels phrase of “I have to do this,” to a chomping-at-the-bit “I want to do this.” 

So, for example, “I have to write this stupid paper,” becomes “I want to get enough credits to transfer.”  Or, “I have to clean out this disgusting fridge,” becomes “I want to make this smell go away.” 

> Continue reading on