Who am I? Taking a look at procrastination

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“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

Jessica Hische

Today’s aspect of the Who am I? question involves taking a look at procrastination. It’s time to ask yourself the following question: what do you do when you procrastinate?

Do you blog? Wade through multiple social media sites? Call all your friends on the phone? Go to the gym? Read a book? Help a colleague with their work? Write an iPhone app? Play a computer game?

1. Make a list of all the things you do to procrastinate, no matter how small you think they are. Either write this down in your notebook or  journal, or on a piece of paper you can keep with you all day long. Procrastination doesn’t only happen at work. It can also happen when you’re at home and need to do the dishes, the laundry, clean out the cat’s litter box, go to the gym, whatever. Just be sure to get it all down.

2. After a week, review your list of procrastination activities and prioritise them in order of preference. Which activities do you most enjoy doing? Number them, alongside the activity.

3. Then, look your list over. Ask yourself: what is this an example of? Write that down next to the procrastination activity. Some ideas, to get you started, using the above activities:

  • Blogging is an example of writing.
  • Social media is an example of communication.
  • Calling friends is an example of communication.
  • Going to the gym is an example of healthcare and wellbeing.
  • Reading a book is an example of education. Or entertainment.
  • Helping a colleague is an example of education. Or mentoring.
  • Writing an iPhone app is an example of technology.
  • Playing a computer game is an example of entertainment. Or technology. Or communication. Or education.

There’s no right or wrong here. The important thing is how you see the activity. Maybe you’re a big fan of a flight simulator game, and you see what as education, rather than entertainment. What does each activity mean to you?

4. Next, look at your top three or five favourite procrastination activities and what they’re an example of. You may notice that you’ve got several in the communication category. Or maybe your top five are all different things. If so, take those five separate things, and see if they might apply to some of your other top five activities. For example, maybe you came up with the following:

  • Blogging is an example of writing.
  • Social media is an example of communication.
  • Going to the gym is an example of healthcare and wellbeing.
  • Reading a book is an example of education.
  • Writing an iPhone app is an example of technology.

Blogging first came to mind as an example of writing. But it can also be communication, education, and technology. Social media can also be a form of writing, education, and technology. Get it? And once you expand your definition of each activity, you then may see some common themes. Maybe it all comes down to communication for you.

The important thing here is getting to know yourself through your procrastination. If you find yourself consistently procrastinating when you’re “supposed” to be getting something done, then it might be a sign to make some changes.

This is an adaptation of a previous post, but it’s so relevant to the Who am I? question, that I decided to include it again. What did you learn from this exercise?

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4 Responses to Who am I? Taking a look at procrastination

  1. Mindnod September 30, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    I like the idea of looking more closely at the things that help you to procrastinate. After serious analysis it could be used to change the direction of your career.
    For instance if you do spend more time on communication type areas then this could be leading you towards a career in journalism or PR.

    • Holly September 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      Thanks for your comment! Looking at procrastination can definitely be a useful tool to discovering our true passion in life, which could lead to a major career change.

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