Five Radical Procrastination Strategies
By Kerul Kassel
The Spanish have an old saying … “Tomorrow is the busiest day of the
week,” and for many of us, it’s too true. Procrastination gobbles
up our most precious resource: Time. There are things you’re putting
off, goals you’ve been remiss about pursuing, projects waiting
endlessly for completion. You’ve tried discipline and will power,
but neither have much staying power. Since one definition of
insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a
different result, it’s time for a new set of strategies.
five radical procrastination strategies for you to experiment with.
Give them a whirl – they might work better than you imagine.
Embrace your imperfections…and stop trying to be normal, too! We
all know we’re not perfect, and we never will be, but that doesn’t
stop many of us from trying. While most of us are still attempting
our own personal version of ideal, or at least as close as we can
get to it, we still get tied up in how we’re far less than perfect.
noticed that whenever you find yourself lacking in some way your
productivity level plummets? Have you noticed that when you or
others make disparaging remarks about your abilities, it negatively
influences your effectiveness?
be uncertain about what to expect of yourself once you start being
more self-compassionate. Don’t worry, that’s a very normal part of
the process of change. Instead of disparaging yourself, see what
you need to do now to correct the situation, and what you can do in
the future to prevent it from happening again.
Drop your tired old goals completely: You know those desires you
keep beating yourself up about? The ones you’ve never been able to
accomplish or maintain? Drop those goals, at least for the moment.
kinds of “historical” goals aren’t typical accomplishments, but
rather the result of months or years of continually applying effort
and resolve. You must decide daily (with some of them, many times
each day), or weekly to persist toward your objective. After all, if
we lose weight, we need to keep it off. Once we get organized, we
have to put effort into staying that way. Once we create a financial
plan, we have to follow it over decades to achieve the financial
independence and stability we want.
Understand this doesn’t mean you must give up your old goals, nor
that you will never be successful at achieving them, nor using
traditional methods won’t work. Those kinds of approaches do work,
but they take effort, struggle and friction, and they suffer from a
lack of sustainability.
two things will happen. Either you’ll be so relieved to be done
with that goal that you will have more energy and enthusiasm for
other important goals in your life (it’s likely that there are quite
a few of them), or you’ll realize this goal is too important and
you’ll be re-energized to find new resources, support and tactics to
get on a sustainable track.
Hire a hit man to kill you if you don’t follow through: Okay, so
this isn’t meant literally, but you get the drift. You want to make
putting it off harder than following through.
what) is your “hit man”? You may have a variety of them. Everyone is
different, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
Willingness to be frank and truthful with yourself will reveal the
answer. The “hit man” has to hurt at least a little, or it won’t be
effective and will backfire.
years ago, there was a news article about a man who was overweight
and wanted to go on a diet. He hated to cook, and he usually ate in
restaurants. He knew he’d be likely to lose weight if he wasn’t able
to eat out, so he came up with a novel solution. He created “Wanted”
posters featuring his picture, and offered anyone who saw him in a
restaurant a $1000 reward. He posted these in all the restaurants he
usually ate in, and in other places where he often went. This was a
powerful “hit man” for him, enough so that he accomplished his goal
and his story landed in the news.
find a successful “hit man,” it may work for you forever, or it
might start losing its punch after a while. That’s normal. Be
creative and get help in devising a new one.
Don’t Take “Yes” For An Answer: Most of the time when we add
something to our to-do list, we don’t really give much thought to
whether it’s something that we really need to do or not, how we
might accomplish it or whether we’re really committed to doing so.
you include anything on your to-do list, it needs a brief
examination. Could it be you’re just telling yourself you’ll do
something without real intent and strategy to follow through? Don’t
bother. You know what happens: You say you’ll do it, and then you
ignore it, deny it, say you’ll do it just after you finish reading
the paper, your e-mail, or the television show is over. You believe
you have good intentions. And for the most part, you do, especially
when you create the intention! But are your intentions serious and
just intending. Intention without action is like a car without
wheels; you may have a vehicle, but it’s really hard to get
anywhere. When you catch yourself making a promise to take care of
something, recognize your tendency to postpone it until another
time. Don’t bother making that promise. Don’t say, “yes” and neglect
or forget to plan it (very typical).
Ironically, going from a knee-jerk “yes” to a well-executed and
finished task is a pretty short leap. Usually, all it takes is the
use of a calendar, a reminder system and a fitting reward and
consequence plan. Sounds like a lot, you say? The system takes less
than a minute to use. Is it worth a minute to make sure you get your
Stop Trying To Finish: Here’s the truth: Finishing is overrated,
at least when you’re trying to get something done. “What?!” Yes, you
heard correctly. Well, of course you want to be done with it! But by
making the end-goal your focus, you can, and do, feel easily
thing you know, instead of sorting through your piles or opening the
document you’re supposed to be working on, you’re in front of the
television, refrigerator, e-mail inbox, or some other favorite
procrastination location. When your eyes are trained to see only
the finish line, it can seem really far away. It feels like you’ll
never get there, or it will be a long, painful slog to reach it.
step is manageable, and you’re more likely to take it, especially
when you’re not staring down a grueling slog. Once your focus is
only on the next step, the entire project will feel less arduous.
Keep starting. Eventually, you will finish, and it’s likely to be
an easier and earlier finish than if you were only focusing on the
end from the start.
Read other articles and learn more
about Kerul Kassel.
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