Choose the response that matches your behavior:

A) “It’s easy for me to find reasons for not getting started on tough assignments.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

B) “I know what I’m supposed to be doing but often start doing something else.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

C) “I often carry books or work assignments with me but never get around to opening them.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

D) “I like last-minute scrambling because I perform best when the pressure is on.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

E) “If it weren’t for all these interruptions, I’d get more of my top priorities accomplished.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

F) “When faced with unpleasant decisions, I try not to answer directly.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

G) “If you take half steps, you can often avoid or delay unpleasant actions.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

H) “I would finish things, but sometimes I get too tired, nervous, or upset.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

G) “I need to straighten my office/room/kitchen before I get started.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

H) “Sometimes you just have to wait for inspiration before you sit down to get started.”

4 = Strongly Agree 3 = Mildly Agree 2 = Mildly Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree

Tally your scores, point for point for the number that matches your response — and then rate yourself.

Below 10: No problemo.

Between 11 and 20: You are an occasional procrastinator.

Between 21 and 30: You’re in trouble.

Above 30: You are probably hopeless.

SO, YOU’RE A PROCRASTINATOR. WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?

There’s nothing wrong with putting off unimportant tasks, but you will go to your grave with regrets unless you learn to take care of your important goals. The best way to prioritize your objectives and get the important stuff done is to use the ETR Goal-Setting and Task-List protocol. I’ve tried dozens of other methods, but none beats this.

Also, you can… * team up with a friend or colleague to get the job done * ask a friend or colleague to act as your boss on the project, setting deadlines and reviewing your progress * once a week, “collect” all the undone (yet important) jobs and do them all in the morning — before you do anything else * promise yourself a reward for completing the task I’d like to know about other tricks you use to get yourself going and get the important work in your life done. Let me hear from you on “Speak Out” (www.earlytorise.com).

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.

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