Thursday, May 9, 2013

Overcoming Procrastination

I ordered a four week audio/workbook class on procrastination by Brook Noel who is an author and time management expert.  Her program is called Make Today Matter which reminds me of living in the moment and only for today which Denise says a lot. 

I truly believe that my lack of time-management skills, my lack of getting out the clutter and keeping it out, my feelings of self-worth, my lack of forgiveness and my lack of peace all stem out of procrastination.  I have learned that procrastination is ALWAYS an emotional response. 

I was shocked as I listened to the podcast and read the chapter about procrastination to realize that the reason I have tried and failed at handling procrastination is that I am treating the symptoms not the cause.  There is a eight phase cycle of procrastination and I was shocked when I read these and highlighted and underlined so much of this cycle because I see so much of myself in this.  I had to fill out a sheet of my current procrastination inventory which includes tasks, the benefit of completing it, the one reason not to complete it (I was a little confused by this) and if you were to break it down into steps what would be your first step.  I then had to do an historic procrastination inventory where you list a task that you procrastinated on and whether you ultimately completed it, how long did it took to complete, and why do you think you procrastinated on this task?  At the end of lesson 1 there was a procrastination quiz analysis that you had to take that asked you questions divided up into ten sections (there are ten types of procrastinators) and you are to strongly agree, agree, kinda/sorta, disagree, or strongly disagree. At the end you tally up your numbers for each section.  Each section had five questions with scoring of 1 - 5 so you could have a high of 25 or a low of 5.  My lowest score was a 15 and my highest score was a 23. 

I am very proud of myself up to this point as I know myself well enough that I will start taking a class and I will print out all the material and maybe listen/watch the podcasts but not do the work but so far I listened to week 1 podcast and I did all the work :) 

Of course, my concern is that I wasn't truthful with my answers but I think by the results I was.  This is what my top four highest sections came in at 21, two at 22, and the last one at 23. 

The 21 I received is "The Pleasure Seeker Procrastinator"  and the only reason I scored so high on this is because I will procrastinate  because doing something else would make me happier and avoid the unpleasant tasks. I place a high value on what others think of me and my life isn't very balanced and I get side-tracked easily. 

The first 22 I received was "The Avoidant Procrastinator" which basically states that this person might fear success, failure or both.  Whatever the motivator, she is concerned by how others perceive her and would rather be seen as lacking effort than ability.  One of the fears of failure is letting someone down (I immediately thought of how I have let Nicole down). She also talked how this procrastinator needed to break things down into little steps so success is guaranteed.

The second 22 I received is "The Depressed Procrastinator" which basically states that this person has tried many, many things when it comes to time management, organization, planners etc. and not achieved the desired results. She becomes depressed at the idea of a new task or project, predicting that the outcome of the future will be the same as past - unfulfilling.  She doesn't feel change is possible because of past failures. 

My highest score was a 23 and this is "The Overachiever Procrastinator" which basically states that this person defines her self-worth by what they accomplish.  She takes on many tasks in hopes to validate her self-worth by completing them all.  Often the number of tasks is unrealistic and in the end she feels overwhelmed and paralyzed, which validates her negative self-worth and enables the cycle to continue.  I think if you looked this up in the dictionary it would have my picture. 

I also found it very interesting that number one in the eight cycles of procrastination is "you want to achieve an outcome. Often this is something that either you place a high personal value on. Or the people you admire or respect place a high value on.  You feel an "internal" need to start."  I equate this to my feelings and behavior with project/tasks that if it is important I will procrastinate the most irregardless of whether or not it is something I enjoy or dread.  I believe just because it's important I will procrastinate. 

I look forward to taking the rest of the class and I really hope that I will be able to conquer this so I can feel good about time management and get rid of the issues I have with clutter and keep the clutter out so I can achieve and be all God wants me to be.  I also feel that this would bring me such peace which I don't have. Denise had asked me to write a letter to peace for my homework in coaching and I have gotten a big, fat, blank piece of paper as this truly has me stumped and I have thought and thought about it all week. 

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