Ideealistin has been at it again, generating interesting blog topics that is. This time she posed the question below and I am going to do my best to come up with some kind of solution or at least opinion on the subject. Wish me luck.
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Question to all the procrastinators out there:
Do you have a trick that works? I manage to get myself to action with a fixed date (e. g. I painted my living room 3 days before christmas when overnight guests were going to sleep there so I just had to get it done – and it actually took surprisingly little time). But the thing with the date usually only works for the visible things and the things I have to do (okay, I would not have needed to paint the room for guests but I sure needed to finish it and put everything in its’ right place again). For all the things I want to do e. g. decluttering and organizing paperwork which seems to be my arch enemy and no matter how much I try to convince myself that it is not so hard to get these things straight I find myself procrastinating over and over again. And – but this is probably a totally different topic – how do I get myself to finish, to go all the way, once I was smart enough to get started and to maybe break the task down in single steps? Though I probably got through some steps okay and realized they were easy or at least not too hard, I remain convinced the horrible thing is still to come. (Wow, now I sound mental ) Any tipps and tricks on that are welcome!
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Well Ideealistin this is how I see it. This may sound a little crazy but I think the best way to combat chronic procrastination is to go cold turkey. Like alcoholism, the only way to give it up is to avoid the temptation altogether. We make a conscious choice every time we decide to avoid a situation we don’t want to deal with, no different to when an alcoholic chooses to drink rather than face his demons. We know the consequences because we have played this game many times over and yet we handle the situation the same way every time. There is no cure for this problem only sheer determination to behave differently will keep you on the wagon. So in light of the similarities to addiction I have come up with a twelve step plan to keep us on the straight and narrow.
The Twelve Steps of Procrastinators Anonymous
- Recognise you have a habit of putting things off.
- When you find yourself procrastinating stop and analyse the situation.
- Try to pin point the unpleasant element/s of the task you are avoiding that is/are paralysing your will to execute.
- Formulate a plan of attack in order to minimise the unpleasant elements of the task.
- Do not change your focus to another task to avoid the one you are procrastinating over.
- Just get started, once the ball is rolling it may gather enough momentum of its own to keep going.
- Continue to take personal inventory and when you know you have strayed, promptly admitted it and get back on track.
- Seek guidance from another responsible person who may be able to help keep you on task.
- Do not make excuses for your behavior.
- Understand that the resulting quality of a task will suffer if crammed into the last fraction of time before a deadline.
- Made a list of a tasks that have suffered due to you not having enough time left to give them the attention to detail they deserved.
- Also remember the tasks of the past that weren’t nearly as bad as you had built them up to be in your head.
Ignorance is not bliss ~ Ignoring tasks will not make them go away and they will play on your mind until they are done. So the sooner you deal with them the sooner you can enjoy the freedom of having them over and done with.
Today’s Declutter Item
These pieces of poster board were still hanging around after the end of the children’s school days. They came back from America with us four years ago. I sent them to the thrift shop, I am sure they could either sell them or use them for their own purposes.
My Gratitude List
- Something that made me laugh ~ My friend Liz and I flitting from one subject to another and forgetting the train of the conversations because we had so much to say after not seeing each other for a few weeks.
- Something Awesome ~ Knowing I don’t have to cook at the end of a busy day because there are leftovers in the fridge.
- Something to be grateful for ~ I got all my scrapbook sale items together and price for my sale day today.
- Something that made me happy ~ Sitting outside in the sun while I had my lunch yesterday.
- Something I found fascinating ~ That I always find that every peanut M&M packet has one stale nut and one exceptionally good tasting nut among all the other ordinarily delicious ones.