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Know Your "Procrastination Style"
And, Make It Work For You...
Has Procrastination ever caused you Physical or Emotional Stress or cost you Financially?
There are many reports about Procrastination causing Health Problems; here is a report from a Professor at a University:
"Just over the course of a single academic term, procrastinating college students had such evidence of compromised immune systems as more colds and flu, more gastrointestinal problems. And they had insomnia. In addition, procrastination has a high cost to others as well as oneself; it shifts the burden of responsibilities onto others, who become resentful. Procrastination destroys teamwork in the workplace and private relationships."
I started thinking about why I procrastinate sometimes, and why I don't procrastinate at other times; and as I started analyzing my "Procrastination Style", I started thinking about how I can make my "Procrastination Style" work for me, and not against me.
When my To-Do List is small, I Procrastinate
The bigger my To-Do List is, the less I Procrastinate
How I figured this out, is on the days I had a lot on my To-Do List, I got all of it done or at least most of it done. I noticed: I could get a week’s worth done in a day or two.
Like the saying "ask a busy person if you want to get something done"
When I only had a couple of things on my to-do list, I felt like I was all caught up, so I would do very little, or even nothing on my to-do list.
It is an undoubted truth that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield
So, by knowing this is part of my "Procrastination Style", it is not a problem, I have just been planning accordingly. On the weeks that I have a lot of energy, I load up my to-do list with everything I can think of, especially those things that I have been putting off or procrastinating, because I know on this week I will get them done.
Perfectionism or Procrastination?
Then I started thinking about the other things that I have a tendency to procrastinate on, even on my high-energy big-list weeks; and it was usually things that I wanted to do PERFECT, so now it was a case of: Is my Perfectionism causing my Procrastination?
This is what was happening when I had something on my to-do list that I really wanted to make perfect, and to take my time with: I would set this project aside and say, "I will get all of my other stuff on my list done first. Then I will come back and work on this project, so I can really put all my time and energy into it". I had these grand dreams of how fantastic and how perfect I wanted to do it.
However, with each day, the project would just sit there and look at me, and I would think; I really need to get this done, but I want to be able to take my time. Then the next day would come, and I still did not have the special time that I wanted for this project; then the next day, until I would either, put it somewhere where I wouldn't have to look at it anymore, or I would end up just rushing through it to get it done.
"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
Author: William James
This is also part of my "Procrastination Style": My Perfectionism used to cause me to either procrastinate so long I didn't do it at all, or I would wait until the last minute. Then I had to just get it done quickly, so it turned out only average, and far from the perfect dream I had.
The way I have made my "Procrastination Style" work for me, to overcome my Perfectionism Procrastination is: I have given up putting my projects aside until they are perfect, I just get them done!
Then, once I finish the project and I know it is ready, I can decide if I have more time to spend on it to perfect it, and if not, then it is finished and I mark it off my to-do list.
Procrastination should not be a bad thing in our lives; we just need to know ourselves, and how we perform at our best; working on our strengths and not our weaknesses.
By sharing with you my "Procrastination Styles" and how I have made them work for me, I wanted to give you some ideas on how you can determine your own special "Procrastination Styles" and make them work for you too.
Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be still wiser; Teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.
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