Wasting Time

How do I procrastinate?  Let me count the ways?  (Oooh.  That’s a lot!)  Here are some of mine and some of my clients'.  Are any of them true for you?

  1. checking email more than two times a day, when the incoming email you’re expecting is not time-critical;
  2. mindless computer games (hearts, solitaire);
  3. mindful computer games (City of Light, Orb);
  4. walking the cat;
  5. helping the club or civic organization run its event;
  6. creating the perfectly neat and tidy “Office Hours” schedule for the door;
  7. listing all your stuff in a database, in case you get dementia and can somehow still manage to use the database;
  8. reading humorous emails sent by concerned friends… or spam;
  9. editing your numerical lists, adding a semi-colon at the end of each item;
  10. frequent trips to the “water cooler”;surfing the web just to see what’s there that might be interesting;
  11. downloading free software, “just because it’s free” or “because I might need it sometime”;
  12. letting perfectionism keep you from starting, moving forward on, or completing a project with ease;
  13. having a perpetually disorganized workspace, to the point that important items (keys, papers, invoices, bills, money, children) go missing for too long… or delay your work for more than a minute each day;
  14. using any out-of-date system that can’t be fixed, is excessively quirky (other than Windows, of course), will not allow adequate backups or security, or is so old that no one still living even remembers what it was used for, let alone how it was used;
  15. avoiding asking for help when it would be clear to anyone else that help is needed;
  16. helping others do their work before you have done yours;
  17. fretting;
  18. doing any work for your personal life that has no place in your work life;
  19. “there’s so much to do, I can’t think of where to start (so I won’t)”;
  20. spending too long trying to come up with additional ideas to list for your readers.

What are your excuses for not moving on the tasks in front of you right now?

How will you feel at the end of the day, week, or month, when you look back and see how little you have accomplished?  Not good, right?

If procrastination is your game, I am here to tell you that you deserve a better future than what you will get if you let it continue to rule your life.  As my examples indicate, there are many ways that procrastination shows up.  Make an honest assessment of your situation.  If you’re wasting precious time, ask yourself:

  • What am I missing as a consequence of being a “victim” of procrastination?
  • Are those significant enough for me to commit to a change?  If so…
  • What will I do differently?
  • How will I assess whether my attempts at changing this are successful?
  • What resources do I need to make it happen, “No kidding!”?
  • What will keep me on track after the initial energy behind this decision wears off?
  • What will get me back on track after obvious setbacks?

Listen, if you’re serious about ridding yourself of this pesky devil, give me a call at 315-472-0504.  We can talk about whether coaching makes sense for you and answer any questions… without any obligation, of course. 

May you take this on with gusto! Your life, and the lives of those around you, depend on it.

-Steve Reiter
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  1. Mitch

    Interesting and timely post.  For most of this past week, I’ve done nothing to work on my business, even though it needs working on.  My procrastination is due to a couple of business things that didn’t seem to be going my way.  That basically shut me down instead of pushing me forward, including a major league bout of insomnia.  Hopefully, I’ve worked my way through some of this by now.