I have written several posts on procrastination because it is such a traumatic experience and common to many of us. Procrastination affects us differently – some worse than others, as can be seen by Terry’s comment below. Regardless of how immobilised you feel when procrastination takes hold, there are different strategies that you can choose from to assist you. The most effective technique or strategy is that you learn how to relax so as to let go of the fear the task is causing you. Then give yourself permission to wait until you feel ready to begin. Plan a small step to begin your task once you have relaxed – the momentum will overcome your procrastination. You can find what works for you or you can choose to be a victim of procrastination. You may need some professional assistance to overcome the block.
What about when the procrastination paralyses you and when you are unprepared you perform badly and feel awful and embarrassed. Its as if something inside is hoping for failure. Or when you have a deadline for a task and leave it till the last minute and the stress builds up but there is a block to complete the task. Terry
me myself and i, photo by Davide Farabegoli, Milano, Italy, howto relax
Someone wisely said to me once that to avoid burnout he puts in only 80% of his full potential, especially at work. Once he had experienced burnout to the worst level and thought he was even going to die, so from then on he always remembered how bad that was. Whenever he experienced euphoric recall about the ‘high’ of being productive, he remembered the misery of burnout and that snapped him out of being driven to do more. In time that tool gave him serenity and a healthy way of living whilst enjoying whatever he was doing.
Comments from Atlanta and Paul reminded me of the ‘80% effort to avoid burnout’ theory and I show them here as a further reminder.
Atlanta wrote: Sorry to hear that you have been in burnout. A good reminder about self care. I hope that you are feeling better soon.
Paul wrote:Wow I really identify with this state. My boss was away this last week and I had a heap of things to do without interruptions. I was looking forward to getting some work finalised. I was suffering with a sore back and took some pain-killers to alleviate it. By Thursday I realised I had not achieved anything. As a matter of fact I was unable to make decisions. Partly because of the side effect of the pain-killers, but mostly from the burnout of trying to achieve too much for too long without celebrating my wins. Funny, though I’m posting this comment from another city, where I am spending my weekend working.
When we commit to too many deadlines we risk burnout. That feeling of becoming immobilised and overcome by massive apathy. This can be interpreted as fatigue and in many ways it is. How easily burnout can sneak up on us, even if we are experienced and take the necessary precautions usually to avoid it happening. The sneaky part is that we are hooked on completing the task at hand, and the adrenaline rush throws us into denial about the risks that come with neglecting the safety measures. Once we are suffering burnout it, nature takes its course and we find that we are unable to do even the simplest things – as we vegetate the body and mind rejuvenates itself. We fret about being out of control and we promise never to let it happen again. Then we worry about the immobilised state we are in. We just need to remember that ‘this too shall pass’ and we will find the strength and motivation to become active once more.
I have not written daily posts for the last 2 weeks
because I was in burnout – to the max
I completed two deadlines which kept me up late
at night and which involved my days full on too
my abstinence from food addiction was threatened
and I thought I was in control of how much
this work was affecting my wellbeing
it was not until after I met the deadlines that
reality ‘bit me on the bum’ and I realised my mistake
now I am resting reminding myself that it will pass
and soon I will be up and moving again, but cautiously
this is my first step today
People say “time flies”. In actual fact we are responsible for how fast time passes. Remember when we were children how long one year seemed like so long? That was because we weren’t in control of our lives, others were – our parents, teachers and so on. As adults we are in charge and we can forget how to stay in ‘the now’ and enjoy just being. Instead we live from gratification to gratification – the next pay cheque, the next outing, the next shopping excursion, the debts being cleared, and many more excuses to be in the tomorrow. Then we are surprised that time flies.
I noticed how quickly Christmas comes and goes
and as I get older it unsettles me
if I am in charge of my life then
I am responsible for how quickly time flies
so I cleared my symbolic plate of
as many commitments that allowed me
to have more relaxation time and
life enjoyment activities
but definitely less busy time!
how amazingly slow the week went
giving me enjoyment and serenity
it’s as simple as that
now I just have to be vigil about
maintaining that pace
A natural need of a human being is to belong to another and to a community. Belonging to your community is far more important than people realise. Without that we can be tempted into isolation. The community can be your family and friends sharing similar interests, or your church group, or your self help group. Some of the those interests can be doing voluntary work for charitable and benevolent projects, or hobbies and sports. The learning community is another powerful area involvement. Even if your community is not a church group, belonging to a community is another form of spirituality.
how wonderful a project to see schools promoting
a marathon walk or something similar where the students
collect sponsor signatures to raise money for a charity
the excitement experienced by
the participant and the supporters
with the outcome of raising funds
or other donations which benefit
people, animals or the environment
ultimately the process rippling out globally
such a simple beginning with a profound ending
which can be duplicated over and over everywhere
As we wish everyone Happy New Year and fill our hearts with love many of us have made New Year resolutions for 2007. Some are realistic and some are just wishful thinking. Nevertheless, both types are useful for our personal and professional development because the process makes us visualise our dreams. Visualisation is an effective tool for achieving our goals because it means we prime ourselves for taking up opportunities as they arise, otherwise we miss them. They say ‘when Opportunity knocks, open the door first and ask questions later”. When New Year resolutions crumble then find another way of achieving them. Don’t quit searching for a way to succeed.
the year before last, feeling guilty for her behaviour
she made her New Year resolutions
and then felt hopeful but that didn’t last long
because she knew how hard it was to
stay away from the trigger foods that
were the cause of most of her ill health
she was overweight, had diabetes and
what’s more she spent her money easily
which always left her broke
then she remembered to try something new
for her carbohydrate addiction
success followed and her health improved
this year’s resolutions were more joyful to list
because she had achieved some of last year’s ones
Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678548
Having experiences that are naturally blissful has been a favoured topic for me lately. Another such bliss is when we get an Ahaa at seeing the light about something. Good communication is one of life’s main assets. Getting it right when we wish to communicate our needs and wants means that our relationships are healthier, our work is more successful, and we have a more enjoyable life. Don’t settle for something that is not clear for fear of annoying another should you probe for more information. The reward of understanding something is priceless. Otherwise you suffer the stress brought on by confusion and misunderstanding.
she was crying her heart out when
I asked what was wrong and
she refused to explain
I paused, giving her time to cry a little more
as I waited she noticed that I was not
going to try and stop her and
she began explaining her predicament
of how her bills were greater than
the money coming in
I suggested that when she was
able to talk we might be able to
look at what options there were
then she became more settled and peaceful
so we considered what she could do
she made a list of those she could contact
and make a payment arrangement with
also what expenses she could do without
like a serious plan to give up smoking
things looked promising as can happen
when seeing the light occurs
that makes all the difference
at the worst of times
Life can sometimes pass us by so quickly that we wonder where it went. To avoid this happening too often we need to meditate more regularly to help us relax.? We also need to think about what we are doing and how that relates to our passion. Trigger off that thinking by asking “where’s your passion?” It’s amazing what thought processes and plans that question can ignite.
he thought about his plans
and found that he had got
and then I asked him
“where’s your passion?”
so he meditated and
then searched for the
answer to that question
and the rest was easy as he
became inspired and
flew over the procrastination
The moment just before we begin a task, which is causing us some anxiety, is when procrastination usually happens. Even if it is a task that we would enjoy once we begin it, there can be a major block. Once we begin, however, we wonder why we had been so bogged down. It’s usually because our expectations and our perceived abilities are in conflict. That is, there is excitement about embarking on the task and in the last minute there is doubt as to how well it can be done. Procrastination and self doubt go hand in hand. The solution is to just begin and it will all fall into place.
I got so annoyed with the block I had
as I was about to begin a project which
I had been looking forward to and
had felt confident in achieving!
then the time came and I froze
could I do it? really do it well?
how will I do it? where to begin?
why had I undertaken the job?
then I remembered that
procrastination and self doubt
go hand in hand
so I sat down and began
and as usual I experienced
such a buzz as the project
got under way!
Red Nightmare, photo by Daniel Diaz, Madrid, Spain,anxiety, deadlines