I’ll procrastinate about this tomorrow

LEM Image 093C’mon who out there is brave enough to put up their hand and shout proudly – 
“At times I’m guilty of procrastination!”

I reckon we’re all guilty of it from time to time, even the goody-goodies.

No doubt there are many experts out there at this very moment writing on this one, (probably using it as an excuse to wax lyrical until they write the ‘big one’ that’s gonna bring ‘em megabucks) … BUT I digress. What was the subject again? Ah yes, why do we procrastinate? And (more importantly) are there any tips on how to manage it?

Ummmmm, would you please excuse me a minute while I grab a coffee? Perhaps the caffeine will help me really ‘get in the zone.’

That’s better, now where was I? Ah yes – I was procrastinating about the subject of why we procrastinate. Here are your top ten tell tale signs:

  1. Avoiding doing something.
  2. Not being able to get started at something.
  3. Wasting time.
  4. Looking for the most difficult way of doing things, and making things over-complicated.
  5. Jumping from one idea to another.
  6. Making excuses, like – “I’ve got writer’s block, creative block or needing
    retail therapy.
  7. Being unable to stop something interesting or fun in order to get on with something you’re not interested in doing.
  8. Finding distractions such as daydreaming, doodling, writing lists, not
    making decisions.
  9. Not finishings something or knowing how to finish something.
  10. You find yourself living in a state of anxiety and/or depression or start to develop OCD’s (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders); or you develop an addiction to substances to help further ‘block it out’.

So how do you know if the procrastination in your life is more than just something to have a nervous giggle about around the office cooler?  When do you know if you are actually ‘procrastinating’ about your procrastination problem? Believe it or not it’s a little like when clutter takes hold of your life.

It’s when it starts to affect the same six areas of your life:

  • your finances
  • your relationships
  • your time
  • your employment, career and course of study opportunities
  • your health and well-being
  • your mental health (when anxiety, depression and even OCD’s take hold).

In other words when it becomes more of an ‘ability to function’ problem.

What to do?

The first step is to recognise that you do have a problem and then don’t procrastinate any further – do something about it. Often this can be as simple as making a decision to get organised and become accountable. Sometimes it’s good to have a strong friend, relative or professional organizer with expertise in this area or even a life coach to help you get a kick-start and keep you accountable. Although, if you’ve tried all these and failed or if you’re really worried then I suggest engaging the help of a health professional who can really help you to get to the root causes for your procrastination and help you to develop some cognitive behavioural strategies to help you move through and beyond your procrastination. In the meantime you might want to use this chart to find out what kind of procrastinator you are.

Whatever you do. If you think you may have an issue, don’t just read this and procrastinate about it. Make a decision to ‘act’ on turning your procrastination around and making your life more productive and happy today and don’t turn your ‘intentions’ into another thing for your New Years Resolution’s list.

For those of you who’d like to give it more thought, perhaps you’d like to click on this link and help me get out of my office first? Coz it’s been taking me a while now, and I’m sure I could (should?) be doing something more important.  ~ Cheers!

Another great article for your consideration is this one from Lifehacker titled “Get Rid of “Reactive” Habits to Improve Your Focus”.

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