“I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow.” Those are my husband’s words. In my head I thought, “He just wants to get back in that warm bed and snooze a little longer.” Normally I’d just keep my thoughts to myself, but we were going to have company over the weekend and there were few windows of time available to get that task done. So, I responded, “ But, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow!” We checked online and sure enough, rain was expected. The lawn got mowed.
As I thought about that interaction with Bob I realized that he two or more ways of rationalizing away doing something in the moment. One of them is to push the task out just a little further on the timeline of his life. My favorite is to look at my calendar and find another open block of time to schedule something I really need to get done. If I can reschedule it, I can postpone it.
What is your preferred procrastination process?
- use illness as an excuse?
- lose track of the items you need to get something done?
- use the weather as an excuse?
- convince yourself that there just isn’t enough time to get the task done?
If you want to learn to procrastinate less you must first take a good hard look at all the mental games you play with yourself. Watch yourself for the next week. Notice every time you put off doing something. What procrastination processes do you use? Make a list of them.
Then catch yourself using them. When you recognize yourself going for a tried and true procrastination process, first laugh at yourself. Self-castigation hasn’t been found to be an effective method for changing ineffective behaviors. Then, make a different choice. I promise you will experience different results in your life like increased productivity, increased self-awareness and increased self-esteem.
By the way, I’d really appreciate it if you’d send me a copy of your list with permission to share it with my readers. We procrastinators can be creative folks. It would be fun to see how it’s expressed in procrastination processes.