No I’m not robbing banks, or pulling off jewelry heists, I’m talking about the precious minutes I waste every day when I allow procrastination to steal my valuable resources.
I suspect I am not alone.
The perfect day consists of 8 hours of rest, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of play.” Benjamin Franklin
I have a deadline looming and avoid the computer by channel surfing, reading e-mail, or even cleaning. It doesn’t matter about the actual activity; I’m listening to the voice in my head telling me to wait.
Wait for inspiration. Wait until I’ve had a good night’s sleep. Wait for a full moon. Anything else before I choose to start the high priority task that deserves and needs my limited resources of precious time and energy instead of something I could easily do at another time (or if it really needed to be done – delegate it to someone else!).
You know what I mean. Saying “Yes” to a project or program and at the time being excited at the prospect of a new adventure, a new experience. Then, all of a sudden, it’s the first meeting of the program, or the project’s due date (which seemed so far in the distant future) is surprisingly near. It’s hard to dodge those comfortable crutches to evade the present moment when the world seems to be asking too much of us.
Many of us have procrastinated to some degree or another by putting off activities that were planned or scheduled, for activities that are of lesser importance. This behavior often involves feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and ultimately, stresses us out.
There is no magic wand, fairy dust to sprinkle or potion to drink to change behavior. However, there is magic in the power to plan, prioritize, and reward yourself with play.
- Plan – Write it down – Take a piece of paper and do a brain dump of everything you need to accomplish and create a timeline of your key result areas or goals (specific, measurable, action based, realistic and timely)
- Prioritize – Break large tasks up into incremental steps. Calendar exactly when you will do each task, how long you anticipate spending on that task and use a timer.
- Reward Yourself – Celebrate your accomplishments: take a walk or a bike ride and get out in nature, sink into a bubble bath, get reacquainted with your favorite novelist (or find out whether you prefer mysteries to historical novels), make an appointment for a massage…you get the idea. Scheduling a treat for yourself and the anticipation of your reward will urge you to complete your task so you can PLAY!
photo credit: canva.com