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Archive for April, 2015

So…. how did you go with the Procrastination posts? Did anything hit home and change the way you do things?

Now something to think about. What is successful in your life and how do you define success? 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Success is defined as: Outcome of undertaking; favourable outcome, accomplishment of what was aimed at, attainment of wealth or fame or position.

I like the first part of that definition :) Outcome of undertaking. Sometimes the outcome might not be what I hoped for, but at least I gave it a go.

 

success

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Pro 5For the last four weeks, I’ve been posting on Procrastination. These are not my words – I downloaded this PDF years ago, and there is no identifying info on it, so I have to go with ‘author unknown’. Here’s the last in the series…

Are You Guilty of Chronic Procrastination?

Chronic procrastination is a problem that’s real and is nothing to be laughed at although there are many jokes about procrastination. Procrastination has caused people to lose jobs, personal possessions and even their spouse.

But most medical professionals fail to recognize the problem as real, classifying it as simply a bad habit. It manifests itself in low self-esteem, shame, underachievement and life can become unmanageable. Many procrastinators also suffer from adult attention deficit disorder but it isn’t acknowledged as such.

Chronic procrastination grows into a compulsion to avoid existence. It’s addictive and as harmful as any other addictive drug becoming your drug of choice and your method to circumvent the reality of life.

It’s a form of escapism. Chronic procrastinators often turn to drugs and alcohol. Drug and alcohol abusers sometime become procrastinators. So which came first? How do you recognize the symptoms?

Procrastinators are constantly disappointed in everything. They expect all things to go wrong and are inwardly happy when they do. Their lives are surrounded by clutter in the home, car and the work place.

They’re not aware of what’s really needed in their life and seek frivolous things for fulfillment and instant gratification. It’s hard to say no. They suffer from low self-esteem and are glad someone needs their help, but rebel by never completing the requested favor.

Procrastinators are late for appointments and have difficulty estimating the amount of time it takes to arrive at a destination or completing a task. They even resort to tricking their mind by setting their clock or watch a few minutes ahead.

If you think you’re a chronic procrastinator admit to your problem and make a decision to overcome it. Seek help. Therapy can be useful to learn new attitudes and overcome fears.

Ask yourself why you’re avoiding the things you dread. Make a list of dreaded activities and what’s the worse that could happen if you avoid them. You’ll quickly see this could result in dismal consequences. Also make a list of happy activities and why you would want to do them. Yes, there are happy activities too.

Time management can help. Stop giving in to activities that waste time. Develop a routine and break down your daily activities into small steps and tasks. Set a lesser deadline and meet it. Replace your “have to” with “want to. You don’t have to do anything. You have a choice. But, weigh the consequences of that choice.

You’re on your way to recovery when you do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Success attracts success. Work on things you enjoy even if insignificant. At least the small things are getting done. Never feel guilty. Never submit to self-defeating mentality. Choose to improve the quality of your life and a life of quality will choose you.

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Pro 4For the last three weeks, I’ve been posting on Procrastination. These are not my words – I downloaded this PDF years ago, and there is no identifying info on it, so I have to go with ‘author unknown’. Here’s number four…

Is Fear and Anxiety at the Root of Your Procrastination?

Procrastination can manifest itself in many forms and for many reasons. It’s primarily the avoidance of a task or project that needs to be done usually within a certain timeframe. Few of us have escaped the clutches of procrastination at one time or another in our life because it’s so easy to succumb to its seductive ways. Procrastination has many disguises: television, internet, email, books, household chores, telephone, sleep and even the excuse of helping a friend. Procrastinators seldom do nothing, but what they do is hardly useful. For many the underlying root problem of your procrastination is fear and anxiety. You feel anxious about a task so you choose to ignore it. This is a serious problem for students who have many deadlines to meet but it’s also a growing problem for those in the home and workplace. Fear and anxiety over not completing a task or project leads to procrastination and this in turn causes more fear of failure. Failure fear is common but some fear success. They feel if they complete the task successfully it will set the bar too high for future projects. Students are overwhelmed with an assignment and fear getting a failing grade. They substitute worry for studying but feel if they fail because of procrastination they’ll be perceived as lacking in effort and this is more acceptable than lacking in ability. They fear looking stupid. An interesting side note: College students who procrastinate are usually more prone to drinking, smoking, insomnia and sickness such as colds and flu. Psychologists say the drinking and smoking are to ease the pain of fear and anxiety caused by procrastination, which leads to health problems. We delay finishing a task because we fear criticism, disapproval and negative feedback. We had rather procrastinate than suffer the fear of shame and embarrassment of unreal expectations. This expands into fear and anxiety of possible rejection, being criticized and making mistakes. Some even fear losing freedom and put off committing to a project. Fears are sometimes unconscious and people deny they suffer from them. There are many ways to combat fear, anxiety and its offspring procrastination. Realize you have a choice to succeed or not to succeed. Set realistic goals in small increments and cultivate a sense of self worth. Don’t focus on weaknesses. Most fears are unfounded and irrational. Realize you’re working against yourself, analyze them and move on. Ask yourself the real reason you’re afraid. Be brutally honest. For some, exercise and deep breathing help. There is no perfect time to begin. Mark Twain said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do day after tomorrow.” The important thing is to start. Learn as much as you can about your task, take one step at a time, reward yourself and soon fear and anxiety will disappear.

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pro 3For the last few weeks, I’ve been posting on Procrastination. These are not my words – I downloaded this PDF years ago, and there is no identifying info on it, so I have to go with ‘author unknown’. Here’s the next one…

Can Procrastination Ever Be Beneficial?

Procrastination rarely brings us feelings of happiness and delight. On the contrary, it usually fills us with guilt, stress and depression and we’re perceived as being lazy with no sense of direction. But can a deferment of actions to a later time, such as better time, be beneficial?

Are we not procrastinating when we adhere to the sage sayings of “haste makes waste” and “when in doubt, do nothing?” And, we’re told to “think before you speak” or put “mind in gear before opening mouth.”

Are these not forms of procrastination? Yet, it’s perceptive advice. It’s how we employ these words of wisdom that makes the difference. If something needs to be done today, don’t put it off until tomorrow or suffer the consequences…unless this delay is used to our benefit.

Procrastination is said to be poor time management and lack of organizational skills and denotes a defect in your personality. Some procrastinators are known to be perfectionists but perhaps they just don’t have the necessary data to perform the required task or duty.

They’re not putting off the task forever but gathering additional information and statistics until they feel confident to act at an advanced level. It’s not wise to perform unprepared, but use your time judiciously in becoming competent, careful not to be labeled slacker.

Procrastination, like water, follows a path of least resistance, so there’s no wasted energy or effort. Many times we procrastinate not because we’re lazy but because of the convolution of the problem at hand. As we ponder the situation, we can weed out what isn’t important leading us to a better solution.

Procrastination can teach us discipline, patience and the ability to work better under pressure. While we ponder we’re searching for a more effective way to do a task, which is a form of time management. Procrastination prompts subliminal organization.

We can usually decide when to do a task and obtain better results when we act at our opportune moment. But, we must not unduly delay in determining when it’s to our advantage to seize the moment.

There are many good reasons for putting things off. Before making an important decision, have you ever said, “let me sleep on it?” As you retreat into a quiet refuge to think creatively and clear your mind, solutions become apparent. Time flows persistently like a river but so do your thoughts. They never cease. Channel them productively.

If procrastination has become your lifestyle, know there are many good reasons for delaying action. Don’t allow negative feelings to capture your mind. Do your research, assess the problem and begin.

Force yourself to sit and work for at least five minutes and chances are you’ll keep going. Do the worst first and don’t worry about mistakes. Visualize completion. Procrastination can be one of our most useful tools but like any good carpenter we must learn to use it well

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