Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
One of things I miss the most from my working careers is those folks who looked over my shoulder and pushed me along. You see I have demonstrated over the years that I am a champion procrastinator. Just think of the juggler with three or four too many balls in the air than he can possibly juggle; one who often spends more time picking balls up than actually tossing them in the air, if you get that picture than you see how I often have felt. In the day my partners would keep me straight and not let my things-I-must-do pile get too large, unfortunately we seldom got around to the things-I-would-like to do pile.
Today as I was balancing a couple of months of bank statements while surrounded by my “someday” piles I yearned for those days so long ago when my partners kept me on track. Yes, I know I am constantly preaching on time management and prioritization, but I often don’t follow my own advice. I am better than I was, I say no more often these days and I have been turning down jobs and appointments where I would be too important or have too critical a role to play. It just that there is so much I have yet to learn, so many more places to see and so many more friends to make.
So as I again did what needed to be done today I did it feeling like the kid on a spring day who could hear the fish jumping in the pond calling his name and wished he was there to answer. When I was finished straightening out the books I decided it was time to dig into my wisdom files and see what the smart people had left for me to help me correct my ways. And look what I found, this was sent by Gretchen Rubin:
7 Tips for Avoiding Procrastination.
Going to the gym. Practicing a new skill when you have no skill. Giving bad news. Dealing with tech support. We all have to make ourselves do things that we just don’t want to do. Here are some tricks I’ve learned that help me power through the procrastination.
1. Do it first thing in the morning. If you’re dreading doing something, you’re going to be able to think of more creative excuses as the day goes along. One of my Twelve Personal Commandments is “Do it now.” Without delay is the easiest way.
2. If you find yourself putting off a task that you try to do several times a week, try doing it EVERY day, instead. When I was planning my blog, I envisioned posting two or three times a week. Then a blogger acquaintance convinced me that no, I needed to post every day. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, I think it’s easier to do it every day (well, except Sundays) than fewer times each week. There’s no dithering, there’s no juggling. I know I have to post, so I do. If you’re finding it hard to go for a walk four times a week, try going every day.
3. Have someone keep you company. Studies show that we enjoy practically every activity more when we’re with other people. Having a friend along can be a distraction, a source of reassurance, or just moral support.
4. Make preparations, assemble the proper tools. I often find that when I’m dreading a task, it helps me to feel prepared. I’ll tell myself, “I don’t have to do X today, but I’ll get everything ready.” I gather up phone numbers, print-outs, read background information, etc. Dividing a tough task into preparation and execution makes it easier to tackle.
5. Commit. We’ve all heard the advice to write down your goals. This really works, so force yourself to do it. Usually this advice relates to long-term goals, but it works with short-term goals, too. On the top of a piece of paper, write, “By the end of today, I will have _____.” This also gives you the thrill of crossing a task off your list. (See below.)
6. First things first. That is, make sure you don’t use little tasks to push off big tasks. I find myself answering email instead of writing, or reading Twitter instead of logging in my research notes. These smaller tasks are important and worthwhile, but I shouldn’t use them to delay more taxing work.
7. Reflect on the great feeling you’ll get when you’ve finished. Studies show that hitting a goal releases chemicals in the brain that give you pleasure. If you’re feeling blue, although the last thing you feel like doing is something you don’t feel like doing, push yourself. You’ll get a big lift from it.
Someday is not a day of the week.
I used to work for a large company; they often tried to do special things for us to make work a little more enjoyable.
Below is a series of memos I found on my desk one week. Thought I would pass then on…..
Casual Day Memo No. 1: Effective immediately, the company is adopting Fridays as Casual Day so that employees may express their diversity.
Memo No. 2: Spandex and leather micro-miniskirts are not appropriate attire for Casual Day. Neither are string ties, rodeo belt buckles or moccasins.
Memo No. 3: Casual Day refers to dress only, not attitude. When planning Friday’s wardrobe, remember image is a key to our success.
Memo No. 4: A seminar on how to dress for Casual Day will be held at 4 p.m., Friday in the cafeteria. Fashion show to follow. Attendance is mandatory.
Memo No. 5: As an outgrowth of Friday’s seminar, a 14-member Casual Day Task Force has been appointed to prepare guidelines for proper dress.
Memo No. 6: The Casual Day Task Force has completed a 30-page manual. A copy of “Relaxing Dress Without Relaxing Company Standards” has been mailed to each employee. Please review the chapter “You Are What You Wear” and consult the “home casual” versus “business casual” checklist before leaving for work each Friday. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of an item of clothing, contact your CDTF representative before 7 a.m. on Friday.
Memo No. 7: Because of lack of participation, Casual Day has been discontinued, effective immediately!
Our only security is our ability to change.
My brother, a strict vegetarian, travels abroad for long periods on business. When he got back from Europe one time, he called our parents’ home and told Dad he was about to pay them an unexpected visit.
Dad hung up. “The prodigal son is returning!” he called to my mother. “Kill the fatted zucchini!”
“Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment.”
She said: At the company water cooler, I bragged about my children’s world travels: one son was teaching in Bolivia, another was working in southern Italy, and my daughter was completing a yearlong research project in India.
One co-worker’s quip, however, stopped me short. “What is it about you,” he asked, “that makes your kids want to get so far away?”
Nothing is impossible if you don’t have to do it yourself.
Little Morris, 4 years old, walked down the beach, and as he did, he spied a matronly woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. He walked up to her and asked, “Are you Jewish?”
“Yes.” she replied.
“Do you know the Ten Commandments?”
She nodded her head, “Yes.”
“Do you pray often?” the boy asked next, and again she answered, “Yes.”
Do you keep Kosher ?, Morris asked.
“I do.” said the elderly lady.
With that he asked his final question, “Will you hold my dollar while I go swimming?”
“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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