PROCRASTINATION… The fine art of ‘Mañana’

Procrastination…It’s more than just poor time-management.

Is it an Irish disease? Or do we simply blame every thing on… ‘Ah, Sure everybody does it here, we’re supposed to do it…it’s just an ‘Irish’ thing, it’s part of us’

Procrastination =  To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.... To postpone or delay an action needlessly.

At this stage I’ll ask you a question. Can you name one idea which made money?.... Sliced bread, Bottled Water the list could be endless. But how did the idea of any of the household names or products you’ve thought of, make money?

Was it not the ACTION of making the idea happen which made the product or service which made the money. So therefore, no idea has ever made money. It is not the idea that made money... it is the action!

If we procrastinate i.e. we put things off, things which we actually want to achieve, can lead to feeling guilty, to feeling inadequate to feelings of self doubt about ourselves. These feelings can and often do lead to stress and/or anxiety. We also now that anxiety can lead to panic attacks and the knock on effects of panic attacks can lead to depression and so on. The chain of events following this doesn’t bear thinking about.

So why do we do it?

A very difficult question to answer, but let’s think about this for a moment. None of us want to referred to as being lazy or careless, most of us want to be talked about because of the positive action we took to make something happen. Yet each and everyone of us procrastinate.

We all believe that we have great ideas and we want to make some sort of changes or adjustments in our lives, career, relationships, health etc.

What stops us, is it fear, fear of failure or success? Even worse the dreaded procrastination. We all recognise these words…

• Must
• Should
• Could
• Try
• But
• Hopefully
• If
• Maybe
• Might

Why? We recognise them,purely because we use them and use them quite frequently. I must do… I’ll try to do… If someone else does something… Hopefully it will happen… etc etc. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to try a new restaurant go and do it, don’t say we must try that new restaurant, go and do it.

Think about these words, and how they all relate to failure, but at least we have the proverbial clause built in… at least I tried.

What are the potential results or dangers of procrastination…

Lack of success which is failure. I’ve yet to meet someone who is comfortable with failure.
 
Anxiety or Stress, which can and often does lead to panic attacks or depression etc

It creates a poor reputation of ourselves or the company we represent. Which can also lead to…Low Self-Esteem

What’s the opposite to procrastination…

Momentum. The momentum principle works on the fact that it takes almost 80% of effort to get started but ONLY 20% to keep going!

We’ve all heard the saying that it’s the first step that’s always the hardest. To assist you in the first step and to get the momentum going, use accountability. Tell as many people as possible, your partner, your family, friends and or colleagues. Ask them for advice and help, tell them what it is you want to achieve and get buy in from them for support.

To use an old cliché ‘How do you eat an elephant? …In small pieces’ Attack anything you want to achieve in small manageable steps, it’s the one sure fire way for you to not only achieve but over achieve. Most importantly you need to take action. No idea has ever made money without an action following the thought.

“If we are to be successful in anything we do we must first convert our idea(s) into energy and take the action required to make our dreams reality because even the greatest achievement was at first, and for a while… an idea”.

Rate Yourself!

How would you rate yourself in terms procrastination, or the stress which is related to not doing or achieving?

List 5 adjectives that would describe you at your best …

List 5 adjectives that would describe you at your worst…

If you need to, get help from a loved one, be as creative as you like…
 
Now… which do you prefer? Which was the easier list? Which happens more often?

What do you need to do to be the 5 positive adjectives?

The Big List

Make a list at home or at work while walking about the house or office… Listing all the things that need to be…

Returned       Changed
Removed       Repaired
Cleaned       Altered
Replaced       Moved
Thrown out       Modified
Washed       Painted
De-cluttered     Waxed
Put away       Organised
Converted       Taken out
Re-modelled     Re-organised
Deleted       Finished
Purchased       Checked out

Now start to sort them out, do it one-by-one, don’t make the same mistake and try to do them all at once.

The definition of insanity…doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

Given that you do Procrastinate…

And you’ve decided you want to change or make some adjustment to your life, career etc…what would probably be the best time for YOU to start?

Within the next 10 days?

Within the next 30 days?

Within the next 3 months?

Within the next 12 months?

Make the decision, draw the metaphorical line in the sand and commit to it.

We can all come up with all sorts of excuses for not starting something…

I’m not in the mood, I’ll do it later, or I’m just lazy.

We’ve all heard them, and probably used most of them too. A mood won’t do anything for you, it’s your choice to accept the mood or to do something about it. Take the action. If you wait around for the ‘right’ mood you will probably never achieve what you want to achieve. If you brand yourself as lazy, you will only go further into bringing your mood down. Get started, it’s the only way you’ll get finished.

We've all been absorbed by procrastination at one time or another. For some, it's a constant problem. Others find that it affects only some areas of their lives. The net results, though, are usually the same - wasted time, missed opportunities, poor performance, self-criticism, or increased stress and anxiety.

If you're still faced with strong procrastination habits after following my earlier suggestions, you may wish to have a consultation. Please contact me on greg@screentest.ie where I will help you to not only identify where you need to make adjustments but also to help you achieve what you want to achieve.

Give yourself an opportunity to succeed; it’s ideal for setting goals or resolutions for  the up and coming Christmas, New Year, or simply the proverbial Monday resolution.

Not everybody needs coaching, but we could all do with it.