Putting things off

When there is need for change,you may want to consider procrastination. If you aren’t already noticed,procratination is another major roadbloack to change. Do you ever put things off? Just about everybody does,to some degree or another. Here’s the crash course to discovering why we play this stressful game. Check the list and see where you show up on it.

  • You are bored
  • Your confidence has slipped
  • You have low self-worth
  • You are doing work you don’t really enjoy
  • You are easily distracted
  • You are just downright lazy.

An assistant professor at the university of Calgary faculty of Management, Piers Steel,has spent more than three years conducting a meta-analysis of practically everything ever written on procrastination. He’s pored over nearly 700 professional papers from the field of psychology,economics,philosophy, and sociology and examined historical documents dating back 3,000 years. His conclusion? “Procrastination is our normal state of being,it’s not procrastination that requires effort”

How often have you put off some unpleasant or unrewarded task until it is nearly too late ,or worse? The deadline looms,the pressure mounts,and finally you swing into action. In the end,more often than not av the deed gets done. But the stress is draining. You swear you will never put yourself through that again. But the vow is soon broken. Why,oh,why,do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin- Victor Kiam

We know that we should act,and that failing to do so will bring us grief. And yet we do nothing. “When we procrastinate it’s often about long term objectives,” says Steel.

“Instead of attending to those,we go with what is more pleasurable or less painful right now.” Men are slightly more likely to procrastinate than women. Young people are far morre likely to do so than their elders(high school and university students are among the worst offenders). Impulsive people are especially vulnerable,because they are so easily diverted. Different people procrastinate about diffferent things. Workaholics for example,almost always meet their job-related deadlines. But many of them will put off going to a doctor,doing their taxes or seeking counselling for a troubled marriage. Typically people feel bad about their inaction. “Often they are dtruggling against it,much like an addiction,” says Steel. “People will say,”No mattet what i do,I can’t seem to stop putting things off.”

Things may come to those who want,but only the things left by those who hustle- Abraham Lincoln

So if you are saddled with the curse of procrastination, what can be done about it?

Get plenty sleep and exercise and deal with particularly aversive tasks in the morning when energy level tend to be higher. Another tip is to break down laege projects into several staggered goals. As you complete each one,you are motivated to tackle the others. Personal routines are also good. By establishing a set of steps for doing things automatically,there’s less chance for diversion.Steel offers the example of washing teeth: children have to be constantly reminded to do it but by adulthood,it becomes an ingrained behavior.

The habit of alwyas putting things off an experience until you can afford it or until the time is right or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate. But once you have made up your mind- jump in – Charles Swindoll