Being productive makes you feel great, so why do you put things off and drive everyone including yourself crazy. Why? Because you’re human.
All of us put things off sometimes, so all of us can relate. We know that the job has to be done and will get done - eventually - sometimes by somebody else because they simply can’t wait – but we still don’t ‘do it now.’ It’s always later.
We Put Things Off
Do It Now
How to Prevent Procrastination
Q & A
The topic for the July 2008 issue of the Powerful Living newsletter is productivity.
Why do we fight it when we actually enjoy being productive? Like I said, all of us put things off occasionally. But, for some of us, procrastination becomes an ingrained habit. It becomes a way of life, driving everyone crazy.
Joseph Ferrari, a psychology researcher at DePaul University found that when procrastination becomes a lifestyle, procrastinators put off everything, everywhere – at work, at home, and even socially – and they are not happy campers. Their behavior makes them anxious and this can even lead to depression.
Most of us aren’t that bad. Occasionally, we put things off but it doesn’t consume us.
Why do we put things off?
Those who do this have a low tolerance for frustration. They’re stressed when things don’t always work their way.
If this is you, think of what you’re telling yourself. Chances are you’re thinking negatively. You’re saying that you ‘can’t’ or the job is too hard. Then you dodge the uncomfortable thoughts, by diverting your attention into something else - the internet, video games, chat rooms, phone, TV, you name it. There’s no lack of things to do to escape what has to be done.
Learn to turn your thoughts around
Procrastination is common among perfectionists. You’d think that these people would not put anything off, because it goes against being perfect. Not so. Perfectionists prefer to let others think they’re not trying, too busy, or whatever…..rather than let them know they can’t do it or they have a problem with the job.
Do It Now!!!
How to Prevent Procrastination
1) Acknowledge that you don’t like what you have to do.
2) Notice what you’re saying to yourself and then stop it.
3) Challenge yourself to do a small part of the job – a manageable part – then take a break, but set a time limit - 10 minutes.
4) After 10 minutes, decide whether you want to continue - once you’re involved, chances are you will.
5) Keep your goals small and reward yourself after each goal is achieved.
6) Don’t beat yourself up with guilt.
7) Remember -you are not lazy. You have bad habits.
8) Time management won’t work, but procrastinators often underestimate time. Add 20 – 30 minutes extra to your task
This behavior may have developed as childhood rebellion, but it can have huge consequences in your adult life. By changing your behavior, you’ll increase your productivity, and achieve self satisfaction. It’s worth doing it for yourself and everyone around you.
The following question was chosen from the many questions that I received last month. It was printed with the author’s permission.
I hope you answer my question, because I really need an answer for this. Since I was in high school, I found that I was more productive at night. Today, as a mother of 2 I still find that I’m more productive at night and can’t wait for everyone to get to sleep so I can do what I have to do. I found that many people do this, but my husband gets angry because it’s ruining our sex life. How can I be more productive during the day.
You may have too many distractions during the day and at night, everyone is in bed, you don’t get phone calls and it’s quiet. Some people have trouble falling asleep due to health problems, or they may drink too much coffee and are wired during the night. There are others who don’t need much sleep. You may be one of them, but if you want to stop being productive at night start by making a to do list for the day - and don’t allow yourself to get distracted. While you’re working don’t pick up calls. Get back to people during your break.
Don’t waste time in front the computer or TV. Limit your personal e-mails. Give yourself a reasonable bed time. If you can’t get things done during the day, aim for the next day and also aim for going to bed earlier. ex. If you’ve been going to bed at 2 or 3, make bedtime midnight or 1.
Don’t work or play on the computer before settling down before bed. Don’t cook or clean either. Do nothing stimulating. Read, listen to relaxing music – that type of thing. Relax things before bedtime and make sure all work related activities are done during the day.
This is not easy in the beginning, but it becomes habit. And, if you don't need my sleep, you can learn to go to sleep when your husband does and get up earlier to catch up on your work.
If you have a question or wish to add a story to help others, tell me and with your permission you can
share it in the zine.
If you have a personal question about this or a related issue, feel free to
send me an e-mail and tell me about it
Just a Note
There will be no August issue of the Powerful Living e-zine, because I'll be on vacation. But we we'll resume in September, when the topic will be 'guilt'.
I also want to thank you for the many ideas, comments and suggestions that were sent to me. I appreciate hearing from all of you.
Wishing you a safe, relaxing summer!!
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