Tag Archives | procrastination

Who am I? Taking a look at procrastination

Pink tulip flower

Image via Wikipedia

“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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What do you do when you procrastinate?

A bright orange Gazania flower in full bloom.

Image via Wikipedia

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

Jessica Hische

Are you finding it challenging to connect with your life purpose? Not clear on what you want to be when you grow up (this applies at any age)? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself the following question: what do you do when you procrastinate?

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Get agile at work!

Thanks to Rebecca for this path photo! Please click the photo to visit her blog.

So far, I’ve discussed many kinds of life agility, including a general agility exercise, dietary agility, and physical agility. But how about professional agility? What things can you do to make changes, break habits, and try new things in your professional life?

I’m not talking project management or software development here. I’m talking all kinds of changes (large or small) that you can make in your professional life to stretch out of your habits and try something new.

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6 Time management tips for students (and everyone else)

 

Have a vision. Be clear about the following three things: Who are you? Where are you? Where are you going?

Who are you?

What is your main motivation in pursuing university studies? Take a moment and consider this honestly. Are you just doing it because everyone else does and “you have to”? Are you studying because your parents expect you to? Are you clear as to which industry or field you want to work in and are you certain that a university degree is the best path to get you there?

This is your starting point. Be honest with yourself about whether you’re in school because you want to be, or because other people want you to be. Know why you are where you are. And don’t judge it.

Life is a path, and if at age 18 you don’t know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, let me assure you: you’re not alone. And that’s okay. If you change your mind years down the line, you can always make changes and adjust. People make major career changes every day.

Where are you?

So the reality is this: you’ve made the decision (for whatever reason) to study a university degree. Think about what you’re interested in now. Is your degree in line with your long-term personal goals? Does it have to do with the things you value most in life?

Where are you going?

If you haven’t yet mapped out your goals, take the time to do so. You don’t need to think thirty years into the future. Write down whatever occurs to you, however big or small. Put them in chronological order, if you can, so you can see a path ahead of you. Can you see how your university degree fits into that plan? Your studies now are just one step on that path.

What does all this have to do with time management? If you don’t know who you are, where you are, and where you’re going, then you have no perspective. You won’t know how to prioritise, and how to get things done and when. You likely won’t take as much responsibility for your studies, since you’re not quite clear how they’ll be of use to you, except on an abstract level.

I’m going to repeat a few things here from my previous posts on time management, because sometimes we have to read the same things over again, in different words, before they sink in. Bear with me.

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10 MORE steps to improve time management and reduce stress

Thanks so much to the people at WordPress.com for choosing my previous post on this topic for Freshly Pressed! And a huge thanks to everyone who visited and left comments. I found a lot of great tips in there, and since I’m not sure whether everyone went through and read the comments, I wanted to share some here.

1. Listen to music or  nature sounds

This is an excellent suggestion, and one I often do! Having some kind of background music or white noise on headphones can help drown out distraction in your environment. Either load your background music onto your computer, and listen with headphones, or just use your iPod. Different people have different preferences: if songs you’re familiar with distract you, try listening to nature sounds, music without lyrics, or music in another language that you don’t understand.

Michael suggests Naturespace sounds. Check out their website. They look amazing. These or any other nature sounds are excellent distraction busters. And Rtcrita uses background music to reduce stress while working. When it’s time for a break, she’ll turn it up to add a little exercise and dance into her schedule. That’s another great stress reducer! It’s important to get moving during breaks.

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