Monday, November 10, 2014

Why People Procrastinate? You'll Laugh at the Reasons Why. Take a Tourat How to Overcome Your Habit of Procrastination

I have been guilty of procrastination myself, but I don't want to continue doing it forever. I need to step up and outgrow that defeating trait. So this one right here is for myself and those of you who also, most of the time, procrastinate! Let's enjoy learning and outgrowing procrastination.

We've seen how perfectionism can cause procrastination and discourage us from taking on a job until we're sure we can do it with an unreasonably high level of quality.

Boredom can also be a culprit. Sometimes we think we just can't bear the tedium of certain jobs. Most creative types don't like the monotony of keeping things organized. And let's face it - most of the organizing process is not a hoot. 

But staying organized often opens the door to more creativity. Many wonderful, creative project has been derailed because creative genius gets lost in a muddle of messiness.

So why do we put it off?

  1. Learned helplessness. Maybe you've tried your best to get organized, either in your office or elsewhere. It hasn't worked, and you don't know why. Now you've given up trying. Oh, maybe not entirely. But your can-do attitude has taken a big hit, and you find it hard to rally your forces to try again. You've accepted failure, or at least inaction, as a reasonable option. It's not. 
  2. Blame game. We may procrastinate in order to wait for a roadblock to disappear. Sometimes that's a legitimate delay, such as when we have to wait for a decision from someone else before moving forward. In other cases, we probably could have or should have anticipated the problem and headed it off in the first place. If you're procrastinating, focus on what's detaining you and concentrate on removing that roadblock. 
  3. Zapped mental energy. When we hate to do a job, we wait until some kind of deadline is upon us and ride the adrenaline wave of panic to get it done. But research shows that work done under this kind of pressure is usually inferior to work that is well planned. It is time to set a date and start getting your office into shape. You'll be amazed at the energy that will come from that!
  4. Rebellion. Anger at the person who requires you to do a job can cause you to procrastinate. I'll show her - I just won't do it, you may be subconsciously be telling yourself. That makes procrastination a perfect form of passive resistance. Sometimes we even refuse to do something in our best interest because of an experience in the past we're still trying to resolve. Maybe you were bugged about keeping things neat as a kid, so now you're rebelling. Time to get over that and allow yourself the luxury of a well-organized life.
  5. Busyness. If you have too much on your plate, some things are bound to fall off. Too many tasks means some will never get done, or they'll get done later than they should. In today's world, being too busy and careening between an overabundance of activities that force themselves on us keep us from giving to what's important. In short, we procrastinate and fail to do the good stuff, because we simply run out of time.
  6. Fear of failure. How many books remain unwritten because the would-be writer is afraid to try? For some, it's better to have a wonderful book "in my head" than to put it on paper and find that it's not nearly as good in plain old black-and-white. Besides, then others can see it and might even criticize it - a good reason to put off the job forever. Right? Wrong.
  7. The job's too hard. Sometimes, a job simply seems insurmountable. We give up before we even start. Not much potential for progress with that plan.
How many good business have died in embryo form because the creator was afraid to move ahead? If you set up your office, will others expect more of you than you think you can deliver? Don't let that stop you! You can do it! Identify the issues holding you back. It's the first step in challenging their hold on your thinking.

Get Moving!

You know you need to get organized (I know that includes me), so let's get over this! Let's yank the rug out from under our habit of procrastinating.
  1. Write down the task you need to do. Clarifying it in words demystifies it.
  2. Promise yourself a reward for doing something that has stymied you.
  3. Vow to yourself and another person that you'll take a specific step toward accomplishing a task, suggests psychologist Albert Ellis. Commit to a consequence if it's not done by the deadline you set. For example, "If I don't get this bill in the mail by noon, I will leave a P1000 tip for the server at lunch."
  4. Get started on an easy part of the project rather than tackling it head-on.
  5. Ask for help. Then set a time to work with a partner on the project.
  6. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and do a little at a time.
  7. Use the "Swiss cheese" method of author Alan Laiken. "Poke holes" in the project a little at a time by taking small steps. Buy file folders. Look up a piece of furniture on the internet. Sometimes one step that takes five minutes can be a breakthrough you need.
Now, post a picture or a written description of your goal. Break the project into baby steps. Toddle forward. Baby steps. Baby steps.

If you follow the steps described in this article one by one, you'll see change. And quickly.

(From Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims "Smart Office Organizing")

Please hit like or click share if you enjoyed reading this, learned something, or you want someone to learn from this. Thanks! :-)

My share of "baby steps" on getting organized.

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