Revisiting Procrastination

End ProcrastinationProcrastination is a human dilemma. So many of us find ourselves procrastinating either in particular areas of our lives or under certain circumstances. There are even some of us who have perfected it and apply it to most parts of life!  A distinction I think is important is to realize that “all procrastination is delay, but not all delay is procrastination.” Timothy Pychyl has done extensive research on the topic and points this out.

I quoted him and wrote earlier on procrastination here: PROCRASTINATION: IS IT HAMPERING YOUR TRANSFORMATION?

Perhaps you find yourself with a list of things that have been delayed during the past 18 months due to the pandemic. Are those things just delayed or are you procrastinating? Take some time to look at those things as you look at strategies.

There are many ways to approach procrastination; probably the key to managing it in our own lives is to find ways that makes sense to us and are implementable.  Here’s a simple list of four approaches from an article by Alexandra Sutcliffe to begin with:

    • “Write down your list of goals, breaking them into manageable chunks. Too big a goal and your eyes will gloss over it on the list, but broken into segments and you’ll feel more like tackling one at a time.
    • Set up a reward for later. Try disconnecting your laptop from the internet for a set period, after which you can relax and reconnect. This way you’re not denying yourself, you’re merely deferring the pleasure until you’ve got something done.
    • Attach one task to another, such as, a daily walk you enjoy, followed by the ten minutes of language study you keep putting off. Creating a routine will make any task feel more achievable.
    • If you constantly catch yourself admitting how you never get things done, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, use affirmations to spur yourself on. Remember, affirmations must always be positive, and in the present tense. Try, ‘I take charge and get things done. I seize the moment and take action.’”

For some of us, all it takes is the right idea at the right time – it’s finetuning or recalibrating our approach. For others – or for any one at a particular time and circumstance – there are deeper issues. Simply adopting a strategy won’t be sustainable because of the deeper issue.

Would you be interested in one report that includes a spectrum of ways that you might experiment with? I invite you to download my FREE “21 Ways to End Procrastination.” You can explore the options, try some and see what is effective for you.  In addition, you will have access to a worksheet that allows you to dig deeper and consider what is behind some particularly stubborn patterns of procrastination.  It’s also FREE.

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21 Ways to End Procrastination

 

 

 

PROCRASTINATION: IS IT HAMPERING YOUR TRANSFORMATION?

Now and laterAll of us procrastinate sometimes….don’t we? I surely do. In fact I am in a pressure situation right now because of my procrastination. I have continually put off a task that includes a learning curve to be able to use a software program. There are always plenty of things to do that I can just DO, regardless of their priority. In this case, the task is related to a part time job I have; in other cases I delay doing things I know will help me transform my life in one way or another.

I have allowed myself to think of much procrastination as benign, and in fact it can be useful. By procrastinating on some things, it may turn out that they weren’t necessary or important in the first place. That can be true; it can be a passive way to prioritize.

Timothy Pychyl, who has done much research on the topic, points out that “all procrastination is delay, but not all delay is procrastination.” Procrastination is a very special type of postponement.

The dictionary definitions of procrastination do not reflect the more benign approach. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary calls it “To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as a postponement, “often with the sense of deferring though indecision, when early action would have been preferable,” or as “defer[ing] action, especially without good reason.”

This is causing me to look at how I think of my “delays” in doing things. I want to be more intention in sorting out things that are priority – important and important and urgent – from those that are not. That will allow the things I truly don’t need to do now, or perhaps ever, to be on a list but not nagging me as much. And those things I truly need to do sooner rather than later will be clear.
Of course that doesn’t mean that I will automatically stop procrastinating on those important tasks! So I found an article by Alexandra Sutcliffe that included these four suggestions for how to deal with procrastination:

  • “Write down you list of goals, breaking them into manageable chunks. Too big a goal and your eyes will gloss over it on the list, but broken into segments and you’ll feel more like tackling one at a time.
  • Set up a reward for later. Try disconnecting your laptop from the internet for a set period, after which you can relax and reconnect. This way you’re not denying yourself, you’re merely deferring the pleasure until you’ve got something done.
  • Attach one task to another, such as, a daily walk you enjoy, followed by the ten minutes of language study you keep putting off. Creating a routine will make any task feel more achievable.
  • If you constantly catch yourself admitting how you never get things done, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, use affirmations to spur yourself on. Remember, affirmations must always be positive, and in the present tense. Try, ‘I take charge and get things done. I seize the moment and take action’.”

Perhaps you will find these tips helpful, also. Here is the link to the entire article: Top Tips for Dealing With Procrastination

If you are interested in a good resource about this topic, I recommend
this concise book by Timothy A. Pychyl (quoted above):
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change