"One litmus test for being a serious procrastinator: there are items on your to-do list that were there a year ago.

A year is more than one percent of even a very long life—what could be so difficult or intimidating that we’d avoid it for that long? For some of us, anything really: making a doctor’s appointment, cleaning out the trunk, fixing a leaky faucet.

To be a chronic procrastinator is to be fooled repeatedly by the same illusions about how your mind works and how things actually get done. You hit the same ruts, spin out in the same place, and misunderstand what happened in the same way as every other time.

Once in a while, you spot one of these mirages right before you step into it again, and finally see the truth behind the illusion. Here are four such truths about I wish I could tell my younger self.

1) Confidence comes after you start, not before.
2) Your dilemmas seem tangled together only until you solve one of them.
3) Finishing is everything; “working on” is useless or worse.
4) Doing feels dangerous and stalling feels safe, but the opposite is true."

Four Things Procrastinators Need to Learn — by David Cain