Discovering Your Procrastination Personality
By Brook Noel
Let's face it: at one point or another, we are all bound to procrastinate on something. Even the most efficient time-manager will have a bump in the road now and then. But what happens when procrastination becomes the norm instead of the exception? While Nike tells us to "Just Do It, what happens when we "Just Don't!"
Procrastination is a frustrating diversion for many. In Day 9 of the CYLC book we explore a Prescription for Procrastination. However, given this is such a hot-topic for many, I wanted to offer further exploration. Now, this exploration won't do you any good if you don't explore with me. So create a new file in Word or grab a pencil and paper. Go ahead, I'll wait here. (Come on go if you procrastinate you'll be missing the point! And don't do this in your "head because you don't like to write things down"just follow the instructions and grab that paper.)
Make five headings at the top of your piece of paper:
1.Procrastinated Task: List out at least 10 tasks you are currently procrastinating on, or remember procrastinating over in the past. (The more you list, the more revealing this exercise will be.)
2.Extent of Procrastination: How long has the task remained unfinished?
3.Life Area: What area of your life does it fall into? (Consult the sections of the CYLC book if you need help determining the different life areas, i.e. spiritual, self-care, relationships, time-management, etc.)
4.Deadline Driven: Is there a definite deadline; if so, list it out.
5.Solo or Not: Does this task involve other people? If so, list the people.
6.Reason: (We will get to this column in a moment)
Leave some space below each task that you record. Give yourself as much time as you need to list 10 or more tasks before completing the next section of this Challenge.
Let's analyze each column:
"Procrastinated Task: Look at this column in conjunction with Life Area. Is there a certain life area where you tend to procrastinate? (The tasks may fall into a couple of life areas"if so list them out.)
"Extent of Procrastination: Look at how long you have procrastinated on your tasks. Then take a moment to write down all the cons of this procrastination on another piece of paper. If you are delaying exercise, could you be seriously impacting your health and your family and you might pay for it later? If you have been procrastinating on taxes or budgeting, are you furthering financial stress that will continue to weigh on your shoulders? Take a realistic look at the cost of your choices. Also, evaluate whether you are a "dawdler or not. Dawdlers take mini-steps, just enough to say they aren't procrastinating, but never seem to finish a project. Renounce dawdling and start doing!
"3-5. Deadline Driven and Solo or Not: These columns offer an interesting insight into common themes among procrastinated tasks. Some people find that the tasks they procrastinate on do not have deadlines. If this is the case, an easy remedy is to assign a self-made deadline to everything. Other people find that it is the solo activities where they procrastinate most. A quick solution is to find a support partner to be accountable to.
"In the space that you have left blank, write down what you have learned about each of your procrastinated tasks. List a new action based on what you have uncovered. Keep this list right next to your keyboard and read through it everyday along with the page you wrote on the cost of procrastination.
Continue to do this, each and every day, until you have crossed these items off of your list. Overcoming procrastination is a lot like riding a bike. Once you understand the logic behind your specific choices, you can make better choices moving forward.
About The Author
Brook Noel is an international, best-selling author and has written over 10 books. Her works include: I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one, Grief Steps, The Single Parent Resource and her newest book The Change Your Life Challenge: A 70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women To learn more about the challenge that thousands of women have used to improve relationships, finances, home management, self-esteem, fitness, self-care, stress and depression you can visit the website at: http://www.changeyourlifechallenge.com/.