This slacker needs motivation.

I have a a serious, lifetime habit of being a total slacker.  It has impacted my career growth and my self-esteem.  I want to get over this once and for all.  And please don’t give me the “dig deep, just do it” speech - I’ve heard that my whole life.
— Serious Slacker

First of all, don't let poor habits convince you that you're a failure. Remember - that voice in your head isn't YOU, you're just the only one who can hear it ;) 

What you need are just a handful of systems to get over this. I don't want to minimize this "lifetime" habit, but you have to remember that new habits can be formed.

  1. A list. I know this sounds basic, and writing down everything you want to accomplish in a day can be overwhelming, but it will be incredibly helpful to just go through the process of getting it all written down. Make three - what you have to get done today, this week, and this month. Then stop.

  2. Now focus just on today's list, and re-write it in priority order. Based on the deadlines you're facing, list what to you HAVE to get done today. 

  3. Now step away because your anxiety is probably peaking, just looking at the list. Go grab a glass of water, walk around the block, whatever, then come back to the list and tackle the first thing on it. Just start. Approach it like any other daily task you MUST complete. Don't think of it in terms of how long it will take (i.e. the most important task is to read a book). Just keep going on today's list, all day. Even with breaks, just come back to the list and do the next thing on it. At the end of the day, whatever you didn't complete, will move to the top of tomorrow's list. 

  4. Tomorrow's list - look at the weekly list, pull out what needs to get done tomorrow, put everything you didn't get done today BEFORE it, and end the day with tomorrow's list done and ready to go. You'll feel a small sense of accomplishment and organization about what you DID complete, and you'll have some sense of peace that you know what you need to do tomorrow.

  5. Wake up tomorrow, tackle that day's list, and repeat the process.

Try it for a week and see if this gives you the jump start you need.

Good luck,

Bossy Skirt