Friday, January 27, 2017

ON CONQUERING PROCRASTINATION

When at all possible, work with your unique brain wiring, or biology. There are so many strategies, programs, and theories that profess to be THE answer to 'finally' conquering procrastination. However, the real best strategies are the ones that actually work for you. Period. There isn't one correct answer. 

The strategies that do work for you are often those you create on your own by continuing to tweak, adjust, modify and 'enhance'. You can only accomplish this through trial and error, mixed with a generous portion of creativity. And, you must be willing to experiment and fail. This is not only okay; it's a necessary and crucial part of the process.  The more you know about what does not work for you, and why, the closer you get to figuring out what does work.  

If a strategy dictates that THE sure fire way to overcome procrastination is by getting up at 5 am every day and working on what you need to accomplish before you even have your morning coffee, notice how it resonates for you. If you are so not a morning person or the thought of even uttering a simple sentence to someone before your first cup of coffee makes you twitchy, this method is unlikely to work for you. Do you know when your peak performance times are? If so, design your strategy around those times. 

When you hear JUST DO IT,  if you want to roll your eyes, growl and mumble expletives under your breath (or shout them) at the person who offered you this oh so useful tip, pay attention to that feeling. If this actually worked well for most people, there would not still be so many folks in serious pain from the high price they pay for chronic procrastination, which is compounded by their negative self-judgment since these 'simple' strategies don't work for them.  Also, if it does work for you with some things and not others, don't continue to try to use it for everything.  There is no universal best way and since we don't typically have the same reason for putting off each task, it stands to reason that we may need to apply various methods. 

If you know you work best in 15-minute spurts, do that! If you need to play oddly loud baroque music or Gregorian chants to get the dishes done or the laundry folded, or if it helps your creative flow, DO IT! If you need to dance while you vacuum or prepare for a meeting, then do that. If going to a coffee shop or the beach or the car wash helps you to focus to problem solve or get your thoughts together to make a plan . . . (you know what comes next) DO IT!

What works for you IS what works for you.  Be creative, keep practicing, keep failing, and keep starting again. Your brain is neuroplastic, so exercise it.  Lather, rinse and repeat, repeat, repeat. Practice makes progress. 


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