Monday, April 30, 2018

Overcoming Procrastination

There is one thing that I know for sure and that is I am a very competent procrastinator. I did not just wake up one day to this discovery. It took a while for me to grasp this concept. Once I put a time value on just how much time I really was wasting, it made me realize that I needed to work on being more focused. 

After thinking it over for a while, I came to the conclusion that instant gratification such as chocolate, e-mails, Facebook or other social medias are way too easy to fall into.

Briefly, I read that there were 5 kinds of procrastinators. The bad news for me is that I actually fall into all 5 types. I asked myself if this was possible and the answer, if I am true to myself, is YES!

The best way to get things done is to simply begin.

5 Types of Procrastinators

1.  The Perfectionist  -  I write and then re-read and  edit, delete, add on, etc. Enough already! Nothing is going to ever be perfect. In my head, I know that so I am working on just leaving it there until it is time to go over the rough draft.

2.  The Dreamer  -  If I do not have a product at the end then I fall into this category. It can be more fun than real life. All of my grandiose plans have not become any reality, just dreams. My plans will stay that way if I don't get up and do something about it.

3.  The Avoider  -  When I avoid doing it, I won't fail. Makes perfect sense. Just don't do it. The bad thing about this type is that when I do nothing then nothing happens - good or bad!

4.  The Crisis-maker  -  Making other things more important because in my mind, I work better under pressure and closer to the deadline. Sometimes this works but most of the time it adds way too much stress in my life.

5.  The Busy Procrastinator  -  This is when I pretend to be busy. I truly am busy, just not focused on my main objective. 

What I did next was to figure out which one that described me the most and get busy on that one first. Reflecting on the above, I feel as if I fall in to The Perfectionist. I have taken some steps to help keep me out of that group. Sticking to a storyboard when writing my novel was one way of helping me. That at least, kept me from going back, over and over changing the story line or editing.

Easily, I have a touch of the other four traits and again, it is for me, a matter of reflecting on what is the best way for me to work on it and stick with it. Being a former educator, I could not believe that I overlooked the obvious. Break down the big task into smaller ones. That is how we help our children. 

Keeping the big picture in mind, yet focusing on the little steps. It makes the smaller tasks less of a strain. It changed my mindset.                                                                 
I believe that I fall somewhere in the middle of these two great quotes:

As Pablo Picasso once said, " Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."


“Procrastinate now, don't put it off.”
_ Ellen DeGeneres


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