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06 Nov

”Just a little while longer”

Datum: 2013-11-06 09:43

Are you in the habit of post­pon­ing things you need to do?

Do you catch your­self think­ing it will be eas­i­er to do it tomor­row” and I prob­a­bly have less to do on Tues­day, so I’ll do it then instead”, or I don’t have time to do this now, it’ll prob­a­bly be eas­i­er to fin­ish it later”.

Do you tend to be right about your pre­dic­tions? Or, is it tempt­ing to think the same thought tomor­row as well, and there­by post­pone doing what­ev­er it is even further?

You are not alone. To be hon­est, I will admit that I also have a ten­den­cy to pro­cras­ti­nate. I think it is my need to feel free and unob­lig­at­ed that lurks in the back­ground, but that is a dif­fer­ent story.

It is fas­ci­nat­ing how we in this way reveal how high­ly we think of our future capac­i­ty. We even think that we are more capa­ble to do what needs to be done tomor­row, than we are today. 

Be an opti­mist, by all means, but also be a realist

It is time for us to embrace a more real­is­tic image of how we will feel in the morn­ing (and how much ener­gy we actu­al­ly will have then).

What you are today is most like­ly more or less what you will be tomor­row as well. It is high­ly prob­a­ble that you will feel the same reluc­tance tomor­row as you are feel­ing now towards doing what you are post­pon­ing until then.

We who have a ten­den­cy to post­pone things also tend to over­es­ti­mate the amount of work and time required to com­plete what­ev­er we are inclined to postpone.

If this sounds famil­iar, give your­self the oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence what life could be like with­out this bad habit.

Try this

  • Decide that every time you think I’ll just do this lat­er” dur­ing this week, you will tell your­self Or, I could just do it now”.
  • More often than you are at present, do what you are about to post­pone right away.
  • Take out your cal­en­dar and on the day one week from today, make a note that you will eval­u­ate how you have done.
  • When this time to reflect comes, cease all activ­i­ty for just a few min­utes. Turn off the radio and the phone, close the door, turn away from the com­put­er and think back on how it has felt to do more things than nor­mal right away.
  • Have you had time for few­er of the impor­tant things since you have focused on com­plet­ing more of the small­er and less impor­tant tasks rather than mak­ing a sys­tem­at­ic pri­or­i­ti­za­tion? Or, have you enjoyed not hav­ing a con­stant­ly grow­ing stock” of almost com­plet­ed tasks you need to fin­ish hang­ing over you?

A new habit

If you liked doing more things now rather than lat­er, estab­lish this method as a habit by prac­tic­ing dur­ing the 21 days it sup­pos­ed­ly takes to estab­lish a new work­ing method. You can for instance use Strides to help you keep track of the days.

If you try com­plet­ing more tasks right away to a greater extent than you usu­al­ly do rather than post­pon­ing them, you will find that you fin­ish more of the tasks you start. More things are com­plet­ed and you will have few­er tasks you have to tweak just a lit­tle” before they can be con­sid­ered entire­ly finished. 

Per­haps you might not have time to ini­ti­ate and get going with as many tasks as you are used to, but on the oth­er hand you will be more focused and need to remem­ber few­er things dur­ing your workday.

If you are like me, you will feel relieved by not hav­ing the bur­den of unfin­ished tasks hang­ing over you; a feel­ing that will def­i­nite­ly revi­tal­ize you.

What’s your way?

How do you make sure you do not make life more dif­fi­cult than it needs to be by post­pon­ing to do things that need to be done? Leave a com­ment and share your thoughts.