Welcome to National Procrastination Week

Well, actually, National Procrastination Week is almost over…but I'm sure you understand…

Even simply writing this blog offered insights into my own procrastination.   Combine being overwhelmed with the volume of information on the topic and wanting to make the blog post perfect and I created my own recipe for delay.

Cal Poly Study Skills library offers four simple reasons for Procrastination that resonated with me, and I added one of my own:

  • Difficult – the task seems hard to do; we naturally tend to avoid difficult things in favor of those which seem easy to us.
  • Time-consuming – the task will take large blocks of time, and large blocks of time are unavailable until the weekend.
  • Lack of knowledge or skills – no one wants to make mistakes, so wait until you learn how before you start.
  • Fears – everyone will know how you screwed up.
  • Boring – I find that when something isn't fun, I am amazingly talented at created diversions.

Their prescription?  “Do everything opposite. Tell yourself: this isn't so hard, it won't take long, and I am sure that I know how to do it, or that I can learn while I'm doing it. And no one else really cares because they are all so busy with their own problems.”  It's simple advice.

And, it's advice that works for me.  Shifting my attention, for even 30 seconds, shifts my entire frame of mind and energy.  Here's a simple, healthy plan to get into action:

  • Notice what you are avoiding.  I actually have an appointment with myself each Monday morning to consciously look at what I've been putting off.
  • Check in with yourself on why you've been dodging it.  Actually writing the reasons why you're procrastinating, shines a new light on it.  Also, writing reasons why you no longer want to postpone it can be a very powerful motivator, as your internal compass offers clarity.
  • Next, try on a new, more positive perspective.  Consider, just for a moment, what it would be like if the task were actually easy, quick-to-get-done and you had everything you needed to make it happen.
  • Then, make a decision.  Make a conscious choice to begin.

And, let's make next week, National Action Week!

For more insight on procrastination, go to… http://www.sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/procrastination.html



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