Friday, June 3, 2016

Don't do today what you can put off...

Nah--I was just joking. We all procrastinate, though. Even your humble blogger here.

Travis Bradberry writes about this in Forbes, June 1, 2016.

He says you can get addicted to procrastination--you diddle around all day and then have to work long into the night--sound familiar?

They did an experiment at Case Western. Instead of a deadline, they gave college students a date range in which papers must be submitted. They compared the turn-in dates to the stress levels. Those who waited until the last minute, had higher stress--big shock.

Researchers have also found a link between procrastination and heart disease and high blood pressure.

What are some of the excuses people give for putting things off?

--I don't know where to begin. Like a deer in the headlights, you better move in some direction--and fast. If a task is that difficult you don't have time to spare dithering. Break the task into parts--as I said move in SOME direction. Work for say 60 minutes.

--There are too many distractions. Tasks that are too easy are a trap--you may underestimate the time needed. Also, you can link small boring tasks to a great objective. If you don't file materials, you can't find them again quickly when the boss is standing there. As for distractions, don't let them be.

--I don't like it. Do that one first. Then you won't dread it.

--I don't think I can do it. This is a failure thought. Or a FEAR of failure thought. Don't start--never fail. But it doesn't work that way. Procrastinating is already failing. Shift your mind into a confident direction. Visualize the positives of doing the task well, the recognition, the praise--and most importantly, removal of the task from the queue--at least for a while.

Put off putting things off. Less dread, fewer sinking feelings, less guilt. It can be pretty sweet.

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