Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. (Wikipedia)
This is a bat habit I’ve been working to break, it’s been a long journey and I haven’t full succeeded yet. You know when you’re working on that task that hasn’t a close due date, or maybe not a due date at all but it’s that thing that you need to fix. There’s no quick fix or immediate cure for this kind of behavior.
I’ve been seeing a coach since January this year and it’s been great. We’ve had our “exam” just this week. I did call him because I experienced myself to just go wherever someone needed me to go, there was no conscious choice what I should do next. Or so I thought. We did work through a few issues that I had and in the meantime I’ve found myself to break a bit of my procrastination habits.
Why do I talk about this?
There’s a short article in Psychology Today that states that everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions – which, unfortunately, are increasingly available.
You know those cats, on youtube?
Facebook? (got ya!)
They further say in the article that they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that’s their way of justifying putting things off.
There’s supposed to be two types of people, starters and finishers. I consider myself a starter, it’s always fun with new projects, it feels fresh, it feels exciting. The upside of being a starter is that you get things going, but you need someone to assist you and complete the project. Although that’s not always the case with me, and surely not for every starter in this world.
But I thought that I performed better under pressure, and after the sessions with my coach, I’ve come to know me better, got tools to work on myself.
If you don’t want to see a coach, if you think you are a procrastinator. Consider the following articles suggested by Psychology Today. The last one is maybe one of my favorite advice, do nothing.
How to do nothing. Start practicing when you commute to work, no email checking, no facebook, no music, no books. Just. Do. Nothing. Maybe you get eye contact with a stranger, it’s not that dangerous, promise. Shake away that itch of “just checking this on my smartphone”. Let your mind rest, and wander.
When you’re starting to get comfortable with doing nothing from home, try start doing it at home. When you’re eating breakfast (although, that’s doing something) avoid reading the news, or watching the news if you have a tv close. Just. Eat.
When you get home from work, stop for a second (if it’s possible, maybe you’re fetching your kid at kindergarten, I know what it’s about). But if you can, stop. Sit down and do: nothing.
The upside of this exercise is that you’ll probably find yourself more creative. I usually “do nothing” when I drive somewhere. I focus on what’s going on around me instead of listening to books or radio or music. I do let my thoughts wander and ends up solving problems or getting new ideas. I do get more creative, do see more possibilities.
Do you procrastinate? Or do you want to talk about creativity or productivity? I’ll buy you a coffe!