Find ways to over­come pro­cras­ti­na­tion

Ask your­self ‘why’ and then find so­lu­tions to over­come that rea­son

The Southern Berks News - - NEWS -

“Never put off till to­mor­row what may be done day af­ter to­mor­row just as well.”

— Mark Twain

If you google the word pro­cras­ti­na­tion, first thing you will find is a non-judg­men­tal def­i­ni­tion: “the ac­tion of de­lay­ing or post­pon­ing some­thing.” How­ever, if you con­tinue to read you will find the Mer­ri­amWeb­ster def­i­ni­tion: “to be slow or late about do­ing some­thing that should be done: to de­lay do­ing some­thing un­til a later time be­cause you do not want to do it, be­cause you are lazy, etc.”

That is the prob­lem with the P word. Now it is all your fault! You’re lazy or don’t want to do it. I get stuck there, don’t you? I feel trapped. I am not sure I want to ad­mit that I do not want to do it. And I sure as heck do not want to let some­one know my real thoughts about not do­ing what they may think is im­por­tant.

Now I al­ready know that you are not lazy. Are you re­ally pro­cras­ti­nat­ing be­cause you do not want to do it or be­cause you do not know how to do it? Let’s look at the true mean­ing of your pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Read this state­ment and fill in the blank: I am NOT do­ing this task be­cause _________________.

So, what is your ex­cuse for your per­sonal pro­cras­ti­na­tion? Per­haps you are not in the mood. Have you ever said that to your­self? If that is the case, you need to de­fine what would put you in the mood. Say you are putting off a creative writ­ing pro­ject. What are some po­ten­tial rea­sons and how could you over­come those ob­sta­cles? Is it be­cause you need a morn­ing time slot when you have the most fo­cus? Or are you creative late at night? Then it be­comes more of a mat­ter of sched­ul­ing time. What if you say you want to write a book, but your of­fice is too messy?

Gen­er­ate a list of things you need to ac­com­plish first to knock out the ex­cuse of a messy of­fice. Do you need to re­move old pa­per­work, find a bet­ter fil­ing sys­tem, phys­i­cally move your com­puter, or find a new des­ig­nated writ­ing place out­side of your of­fice?

Once you see what you need to do, you can tackle the task be­cause you want to and be­cause you know how to. This clar­ity will make a dif­fer­ence.

What other sug­ges­tions can you de­rive to elim­i­nate the P Word

from your vo­cab­u­lary? Go through the items on your list that cause you to pro­cras­ti­nate and ask your­self WHY. Then come up with so­lu­tions to over­come that WHY rea­son. If you are work­ing with a larger pro­ject, break it into smaller steps and use re­wards as you make progress. Re­wards can be as sim­ple as a cup of cof­fee or a so­cial out­ing with a friend. An­other good idea for larger pro­jects is to ask some­one that you trust to ac­cept pe­ri­odic up­dates on your suc­cess. Ask this per­son to hold you ac­count­able.

If you con­tinue to pro­cras­ti­nate about the same task over and over, it may be time to find some­thing else to do that holds your in­ter­est! Or maybe the very task that is caus­ing you such anx­i­ety is not even nec­es­sary for you to do. Can you or your busi­ness

func­tion per­fectly well with­out do­ing that pro­ject? Is this some­thing that can be elim­i­nated or put off to an­other day? Per­haps that is why you are not com­plet­ing the task. If it re­ally is low on the pri­or­ity list, maybe you should wait un­til the day af­ter to­mor­row to com­plete that task. You are not lazy af­ter all!

Dr. Carol-Anne Min­ski works with busi­ness lead­ers and com­pa­nies seek­ing ways to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease their or­ga­ni­za­tional per­for­mance. She helps lead­ers raise the bar and max­i­mize per­for­mance. Carol-Anne is au­thor of “Fo­cus! Get What You Want Out of Life” and the “Fo­cus! Plan­ning Jour­nal.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. fo­cuswith­ me­dia/.

Dr. CarolAnne Min­ski

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