As I write this, I realize that I have been sitting here procrastinating over a task that seems somewhat overwhelming. The task, which has been sitting on my desk for two days now, has begun to totally intimidate me.
To be very honest with you, I will admit that the task is not difficult, but it definitely is unappealing and boring. I actually awakened in the middle of the night thinking about it and I made a promise to myself to tackle it the first second I sat at my desk in the morning. Sadly, that did not happen. Instead of being extremely disciplined and diving headfirst into the task, I allowed myself to become distracted by other and far more attractive activities. Now it is at the end of the day, and I have run out of sources of instant gratification to divert my focus from the daunting task, like shopping online for a new cell phone or being unable to resist reading my favor bloggers. I recognize that once again I will probably awakened in the middle of the night again, feeling dissatisfied that I had not cleared my desk of the task that I have now begun to dread. Could I be falling into that old behavior of a perfectionist? Yes, it is that same old behavior that is based on avoiding tasks that you feel insecure about completing and finishing 100 %.
Self-analyzing your behavior is not something anyone likes to do. However, no one likes waking up in the middle of the night feeling that your mind is filled with the to do list for the morning, carried over from the day before. The rubber has hit the road and it’s the day of reckoning, or should I say the night of reckoning. This has to be addressed or I’ll never sleep again.
Why have I put off the inevitable? I don’t know about you, but procrastination seems to be a growing problem. After seriously considering why I have allowed myself to get into this rather uncomfortable situation, I have come up with what I think the problem is in the first place.
- Fear: Are you doubtful that you will complete the task to your satisfaction?
- Boring: Is the chore less gratifying and every other thing that you do all day long?
- Distraction: Are you letting more interesting and stimulating chores distract your attention?
- Impatience: Has your attention span grown so short that anything that takes less than an instant is an irritation to you?
- Gratification; Do you need instant gratification for everything that you do during the day?
I don’t know about you, but I could answer yes to every single one of those questions I asked myself. I have a few suggestions to solve the problem, but only if you’re willing, to give up the sleepless nights, and gain a feeling of self-satisfaction when you have tackled and conquered the awful chores that you have been procrastinating about.
- Set goals: Everybody talks about goal setting, everybody attempts to create a plan, but not everybody completes the goal setting task. Do it, just do it and stop making excuses. What’s the worse thing that could happen? You might get in done or at least almost done. Just get started and you will begin to sleep through the night without visions of that dreadful task awakening you ?
- Time management: Most people complain that they don’t have enough time in their day to take care of all that they have to do. Why is that? It’s more than likely a simple time management problem. Know how you’re spending your day, and be accountable to yourself for any wasted time. Write down the time you spent on the phone just chatting or text messaging on your own work time. If you keep a log of how you are spending your day, I guarantee you will know where the time went .
- Emotional gratification: We live in a world that has come to expect instant gratification. If your computer takes longer than 60 seconds to boot up, do you call tech support? Do you? If tech support asked you to wait more than a few minutes, do you feel abused? We are living in an age where seconds count, but stressing when seconds turn into minutes and then hours, can literally kill you. Stop and slow down.