PROCRASTINATION PART III
I kept putting off writing this blog post because I thought it was going to be hard, mind-boggling, time-consuming, and I was afraid of being embarrassed and possibly rejected by you, my readers. I found though, once I got started, I was interested and felt drawn to discover more about procrastination and myself. I discovered Dr. Barbara Oakley’s website as well as LearnDoBecome.com with Alice and Eric Perry. Two great sites which I have added to my favorites. Writing this article is important to me. Very important. I’m glad I finally got started. Having written it, I can say in all honesty, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I am no longer overwhelmed by it. And I faced my fear of rejection and found I can allow myself to be vulnerable to you.
In Procrastination Part I we discussed the definition of procrastination. LearnDoBecome.com Radio, Podcast Episode #21, Alice Perry has a great interview with Dr. Matthew May where he explains there is a healthy form and an unhealthy form of procrastination. He says procrastination is “sometimes necessary”. It’s true, we are forced to procrastinate when we set priorities. So, it isn’t always that we don’t want to do a task, just that it is not as important as something else. This is where we need to consider the connection to our values. Dr. May says negative, unhealthy procrastination comes in to play when we repeatedly put off a task. That’s why it’s important to ask why we procrastinate one task more often than others.
In Part II, we looked at way to stop procrastinating by identifying our attitude toward the task and changing it. Then linking the task to our values. I used the task of weeding flower beds as an example. It is a dirty, ongoing task that I often put off, sometimes for good reasons, other times because I simply don’t want to do it. Repeatedly putting it off has made it monstrous—overwhelming. Do you know what I mean? Well, I have worked on the flower beds in my courtyard all week and wanted to be able to tell you in this blog that I completed that monstrous task, but then Tropical Storm Imelda blew in and all my efforts were washed up. Literally. However, I am elated that I have made such strides in completing this task and I am committed to finish when the weather clears again. Watch my Facebook page to see before and after photos.
In Part III, I wanted to share a couple of tips that have helped me the most.
First, just get started! Remember, getting started is half the battle.
Second, if you can’t finish a project in one sitting, eat that elephant “one bite at a time.” Try setting a timer. Chomp on part of the project until the timer goes off. Like Alice Perry says, boil it down to the very next step. Make a list of these “next steps” and spend ten minutes focused on getting as much done as possible before the timer goes off. You can then stop or go to the next step. These small increments give you the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment in just a short time.
Third, JUST GET STARTED. (It bears repeating.)
Procrastination is tricky. It takes commitment, but the peace of mind provided by tackling it is a great reward. We’ve only touched on some of the problems it can create for us, and I’m sure we will come back to it. Hopefully, each time we can’t seem to get a task underway, we will ask those hard questions found in Part I and discover why not”? And why not start, now?
I’ve learned a lot from studying this subject and it’s been good for me. Remember the poem I shared in Part I that I’d written in college? Well, I want to share a little poem I wrote this morning in answer to that one. Hope you like it.
Looking back, I can see
The life I’ve lived,
I’ve lived for Thee.
My dreams, my plans, not far ahead.
I live out loud,
Not in my head.
I’ll change my world as I onward go,
With where I’ve been, with who I know.
No wondering what I’m going to be;
I know who I am, who others see.
Oh, but tomorrow,
Still illusive it seems.
I live today and continue to dream.
Excited and hopeful,
I now understand,
Today is tomorrow
Again, and again.
Write and tell me the task you most often procrastinate. Do you know why? Have you overcome a habit of procrastination you would like to share? Write and tell us how you overcame it.
Remember, wherever you are, you are at the right place when you visit my website and read my blog. Come on back and share a slice of life with me.