Friday, May 8, 2009

Art of Procrastination

I know a lot of people that fall victim to procrastination, myself being the biggest one of all! I'm going to confess - I hate when I realize that I've left something for the very last minute and am forced to drop everything else I want to do to tend to something I'd rather forget about!

Having gone through the stress and anxiety of procrastination one too many times, I've decided to make a commitment to myself. No more procrastination. It'll definitely be a challenge... keeping up with this commitment is an act of non-procrastination in and of itself. I realize that a lot of people (again, myself included) seem to procrastinate the most with personal things. I'm more prone to keep a promise or commitment to someone else before I'll keep one to myself. I'll work my bum off trying to motivate someone else into doing something positive before I motivate myself. I'll promise myself that I'll make it to the gym, but then spend so much time taking care of errands and to-do's that by the time I wanted to go to the gym, I'm beat and I bail out. I encourage people to pamper themselves and treat themselves every now and then, but neglect to treat myself.

This week has been an eye opener for me with my tendencies to put things off until "later." When I came home to a stack of bills, a pile of laundry and a flooded inbox after my trip I realized that I inadvertently left everything on my to-do list until after I got back. I spent a lot of time before the trip running errands, shopping and pretty much getting everything in order for the trip. Anything unrelated to the trip fell into my "I'll do it later" category. As you can see, I tend to fall short on the ability to balance multiple things as well. I was consumed with going away, rather then balancing what was going on at home with what needed to be prepped for florida. I didn't even realize how much I left for myself to do until I actually sat down and got everything done this morning! I had yoga and gym classes planned for this week, a visit to the park with the dog and some fun stuff I wanted to get done... and most fell to the wayside because i over packed myself without realizing it.... all thanks to my superior procrastination skills.

So this is my promise to myself- no more procrastinating. No more putting things off until tomorrow. And this holds true for fun things too! Leaving everything until the last minute or putting off so many tasks that you're inundated with work by the end of the week causes immense stress and anxiety... and avoidable stress and anxiety!

If a project or task seems huge and you just don't want to deal with it, break it down into parts. Then try to accomplish at least one of those parts each day until the task is complete. If you have a few things to get done and some are dreaded things for you, spread them out... don't leave all of the dreaded tasks for the end. Do some fun stuff, then some stuff that has to get done, then the stuff you really don't want to do but have to do and then repeat that cycle until you're finished with everything!

Make a commitment to yourself to not procrastinate. Write out everything you need/want to get done and go do it! And schedule "you" time in there too! I have officially blocked out two full hours of "me" time for the gym tomorrow. Honor your promises to yourself as you would to a friend. We have enough stress in our lives... why let procrastination add to it!?

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