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Procrastination Woes

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Deadline is a heavy word for a procrastinator. It seems so final. The wall of completion. The line that must be crossed. With such weight on a word, you would think the severity or responsibility of the deadline would be all that is needed to push us over the line. Instead, we avoid it. Like the plague, we avoid it.  Even if it causes us woe.

A procrastinator is a person who appears to make an art or "job" out of doing absolutely everything else but the one thing that must be done. If you are one don't feel alone. Procrastinators are everywhere, and you’ll find them in successful business careers, studying to be professionals, busy full-time parents, and possibly you. Why do we procrastinate knowing there could be circumstances to the avoidance?  I truly believed I couldn’t help it or that I liked the rush of the last-minute work frenzy. However, inside I hated it and it caused me so much stress that I’d make myself sick over my perceived inability to focus on a deadline and the priority task at hand.

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. Procrastinators are often deemed “pleasure seekers” because they’d rather do something a bit more fun than the looming “must do”.

There are tools that are very effective in curbing the pleasure-seeking impulse we fall to when we know we should not. One that I have found very helpful is to set a timer (like a kitchen timer or stopwatch on your phone) for 30-minute intervals. During that 30 minutes, I work diligently on the project that is due. I then give myself a 15-minute break to diddle around on something else. What I have found is that I want to go back to setting another 30-minutes because that challenge of staying focused on the task for that time is giving me pleasure. It sounds strange, but it works and before you know it—you have met your deadline and not facing the woes of procrastination. Try it and let me know how it works for you