Sunday, 30 September 2012

Positively Procrastinating! Live Life~Love Life WK 40

What is procrastination?
Procrastination means to 1. postpone something; 2. to hold off on doing something; 3. to wait till later to do something. Procrastination is to put things off, as in not doing things in a timely manner.

There are times in life when we are not firing on all cylinders. Very often it is during these periods that others appear to be making huge strides forwards with their projects which has the effect of creating a tough attitude towards ourselves. We may feel that we need to push even harder and progress more quickly yet at the same time our bodies are telling us that they’re just not up for it.

Generally speaking our first port of call is to stay in touch with ourselves- our feelings, health, energy levels friendships; everything that is a part of us. When we fail to listen to ourselves things can go seriously wrong. What happens if we push ourselves just to keep up with others? If we are exhausted and burning the candle at both ends our performance will suffer. It is better to analyze the reasons for your current state before deciding how to continue. Sometimes we suffer classic ‘burn out’ when we have worked far too hard for far too long. Maybe you need a proper rest yet at the same time have targets to meet. Simplify your work load and focus on the necessary whilst making a note of future ventures. We all need a balance between work and relaxation so sometimes a little juggling will achieve this.

During these periods of reduced activity you may wish to procrastinate a little. This can be positive. Why make serious decisions when you are not in a clear frame of mind? Anything involving money and life changes need to be considered when we are functioning well. An easy way to look at this is to compare them to shopping. When you are in a mood to buy new clothes you are keen to select them, try them on and make purchases. When you don’t really feel like it you are more likely to wander around picking clothes up and putting them back as you cannot make your mind up. This amounts to time wasting when you could be relaxing elsewhere! Sometimes it is best to make the decisions you need to make and put others aside to address later when you are in a better frame of mind. There will always be things that need to be done and it is best to get them out of the way! If you find that you are unable to make decisions it is possible that you are suffering serious exhaustion or even depression in which case you may need help from those around or even medical advice... or maybe you just need a holiday!

Now we will address the guilt trip. How guilty do we feel when we have work to be done but choose to sit down and listen to music or relax in front of the TV? How often do we feel guilty when we work flat out day in day out and neglect to rest? Most of us will feel more guilt with the first example! Life is about balance and relaxation is an important element which enables regeneration of our minds and bodies. Power naps are all very well but good leisure activities allow us to relax mentally and have enjoyable experiences which enrich our personalities. If we find that we are becoming ill much more than usual we may be over tired or under too much stress. Of course, we might need to adjust our diets and exercise routines. Both over or under eating/exercising will take their toll on our energy levels and sustainability.

QUESTION: What happens when we really need to get something done and still continue procrastinating?
ANSWER: nothing or disaster!

If you have something to do that is essential you have to get on with it or you will go nowhere. If you have a decision to make, project to plan or work to complete, procrastinating is unhelpful however you can approach it in a positive way to make things easier for yourself. The golden rule is to make a quick assessment and decide how you can minimize the task. Bite size chunks are useful. Instead of writing an essay from beginning to end, break it down into sections. Projects can be drawn up in stages and decisions can be looked at from different perspectives. The best time to think and act is when you get up to start the day. Your mind and body are fresh so you will get more done. Aim to reach a certain point before leaving a task. Having people to support and encourage you can be helpful and delegate where possible... that’s a very positive way of moving things forwards when you are lacking energy or will power.

We don’t procrastinate for ever and we will soon return to our usual state of positive energy and clear thinking. Sometimes it is best to go with the flow in life and appreciate that we do need to slow down and recuperate now and then. Don’t feel guilty, don’t fight it... just do what you can to keep things ticking over and fill your mind with positive thoughts and feelings to rebuild your internal energy!

Jaz McKenzie

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