By Karen Susman
While walking Cody Elvis and looking for inspiration for this Monday Mini, I listened to a CD by Jim Rohn on procrastination.
Procrastination has been an integral part of my game plan for as long as I can remember. I’ve found numerous ways to put off doing what I don’t want to do. I’ve phoned friends, rechecked my completed crossword puzzle and rearranged my rubber bands.
I was running out of creative ways to procrastinate when I discovered facebook, Linkedin, twitter and YouTube.
I won’t take all your time describing these internet phenoms. Just be aware of their addictive grasp. I tried a little YouTube. My YouTube use was just recreational at first. Before I knew it, I was watching travel videos, ukulele videos, comedy videos, and doggie videos.
There’s a Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Winston who has a bigger following than Lassie ever did. I’ve watched Winston chase his ball, sleep in his bed, beg for peanut butter, stretch and scratch. If I get bored following Winston, I can always read the comments of those other besotted beings who watch Winston’s world.
LinkedIn sounded like a smart idea for a savvy, networking business type like me. I even paid for a class to show me how to use it. My Linkedin network is growing and so is the amount of time I’ve spent inviting people I all ready know and those who know people I know to link up with me. I even linked up with someone just because he spells his name, “Susman,” with one “s” in the middle like I do. This hasn’t resulted in any business for me, but we’ve bonded over our mutual love of borscht and ballet based on our brethren escaping the Russia’s Czar Nicholas II in the early 1900’s.
Twitter is something I’m trying to figure out. I get notified every time someone is following me on Twitter. Twitter paranoia is enveloping me. Why are they following me? Do I have to keep looking over my virtual shoulder to see if they’re gaining on me? I can spend hours pondering this and other social networking issues.
Then there’s facebook. I have a niece who is a college freshman who thinks I’m way cool to be on facebook. I’m a sucker for being cool.
Facebook is fun if you like to look at others’ photos and know the mundane details of their lives. Jack wrote that he’d gone back to bed for three hours. Paula posted that she was vacuuming. Vacuuming and posting at the same time sounds dangerous. I’d put off the vacuuming, Paula.
If all this isn’t enough to get you through the day without accomplishing anything, you can always respond to blogs.
The focus of this mini was how to topple procrastination. Guess I’ve put off getting to the point long enough. Here are a few ways to overcome the biggest hurdle to getting things done: getting started.
Use these suggestions NOW!
1. Break your project down into itsy-bitsy projects. Research reveals that big projects, ideas, changes, etc. can cause fear, which then causes us to shut down as a survival mode. Thus, small doses of anything are easier to adjust to and accomplish.
2. Reward yourself for accomplishing each small project or reaching a benchmark. Don’t wait until a project is finished. Rewards reinforce action.
3. Set the timer for 15 minutes. When the bell rings, get started.
4. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Work for only fifteen minutes.
You’ll probably want to continue once you get started.
5. Have a procrastination pal. Commit to a friend that you’re starting a project and ask him to call you at an allotted time to check on your progress.
6. Throw your coat over the fence. Then you’ll have to go after it.
Make a commitment to someone that you’ll have to keep. Then work like crazy to deliver.
7. If you need pressure to accomplish, forget your actual deadline and mark your calendar with an imminent deadline.
8. Start anywhere in the project. Just dive in.
9. Ask for help. If you don’t know what to do or how to do it, find someone who does. Pay him/her if you have to. It’s worth it.
10. Lower your standards. Perfectionism and procrastination are connected at the hip.
11. Don’t make promises you know you won’t keep or are unrealistic based on your time and resources.
12. Have a compulsion to complete. As Ben Franklin said, “One today is worth two tomorrows.”
And, when you’re finished, connect with me on LinkedIn or facebook.
If you still need to procrastinate, follow me on twitter. I’ll be looking over my shoulder for you.