Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Procrastination

I figured I would get to this topic sooner or later.
Bonus time. Two days of weather-related cancellations gave me lots of extra hours to get things done. Woo-hoo!  I wanted to get a blog entry done. Good, I think. I'll write it on my to-do list along with exercising, cleaning bathrooms and ironing. It will happen today.

Day 1 What happened:
I chatted on Facebook and Twitter, talked on the phone to an old friend, played scrabble on my netbook, ironed, cleaned the bathrooms, organized my utility drawer (maintenance really), played Angry Birds on my Droid and watched all 8 installments of "Pillars Of The Earth" on Netflix. Because the bad weather was going to continue another day, I rescheduled both clients. I check my list and decided I'll do the blog and exercise tomorrow.

Day 2 What happened:
I cooked a great breakfast, ran an errand, emptied the dishwasher, purged some old files in my filing cabinet, logged all my continuing education hours from last year, chatted on the phone with my sister, sharpened all the pencils in the house.... Wait!  What am I doing? Then I had an epiphany. I really like how I feel when I have finished writing a blog entry. I really like how I feel when I exercise. Why am I procrastinating?

I did a little research. I am not lazy nor do I lack ambition. I was clearly busy all day. There were articles that suggested low self esteem, perfectionism, inability to make decisions, or perhaps, the task is unpleasant. This may be true for some people. but for me--Nope, Nope and Nope. Turns out we all do it at one time or another.  Yes, even Professional Organizers procrastinate. Science Daily's definition of procrastination is "the deferment or avoidance of an action or task which requires completion by focusing on some other action or task."  That's exactly what was happening.

The answer for me was in the focusing.  The snow day made my day unstructured.  I needed a plan on how to avoid procrastinating and take action.  Action plans require verbs. These are my verbs.
Zeroing in on what I specifically wanted to accomplish.  (Write the blog entry.)
Deciding exactly when it was going to occur. (Now!)
Creating the conditions that will make it happen. (Sitting at my desk, phone off and distractions removed.)
Envisioning the end result. (Scratching it off my to-do list.)
Ok, that is not acronym worthy, but the job got done.  I am now going to apply this to the exercise thing...maybe later.



2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the funny and honest analysis of this topic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aren't we all guity of some procrastination? Even, productive prostastination? Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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