Monday, December 5, 2016

"Procrastination Has Lots Of Followers"

If procrastination had a facebook or other social media page, it would have so many followers - possibly a record number - unless of course people never got around to connecting to it. Nevertheless, procrastination is very popular. In fact, many people would rather procrastinate than do something productive.

When we procrastinate, we never run the risk of making a mistake. We aren't criticized - at least not in the moment. We are masters of out time - while the momentary vacation lasts. We get to do whatever it is that we think will be more fun or more rewarding at the time than what we are supposed to be doing or what we know we should be doing.

When we know that we should be writing or completing a proposal because someone is depending on receiving it from us, but we are stuck or we feel like we need a little break before getting back to it, we put it off and procrastinate. maybe we're not sure where or how to begin - might as well put it off for a little while until some inspiration hits us.

Breaks can be productive - they can allow us a time to recharge or to regroup. Sometimes an issue appears differently to us after a little time away from it. In this sense, procrastination can be helpful. The issue or the problem facing us didn't magically go away while we did something us. It could appear much more manageable when we returned to it, however. On the other hand, it could seem even more challenging.

Just think about all of the activities and diversions that exist to allow us time to procrastinate and get away from the more productive things we could be doing. Surfing the internet, doing crossword puzzles and word match games, shopping online, watching old reruns on TV, watching the news - especially after we already know the headlines from reading our news updates, taking a nap, going for a walk, going shopping, and the like. Now, any of these activities done in moderation and done for the right reasons of giving us a break and letting us recharge can be helpful. It's when they are done just as an escape or to knowingly forestall or put off a project or important task that they turn into procrastination.

This is likely why procrastination has so many admirers and followers. It's easy and fun to pursue its agenda rather than to get right down to what really needs to be done.

Nevertheless, procrastination does have a productive side. Often when a deadline, project, proposal, task, or other important activity is facing us, we can break it up into little, manageable pieces and then break away for inspiration or renewed energy to then return and pursue it more diligently. In this way, procrastination can work effectively. Otherwise, it is just a little fib we tell ourselves about how we need a little time before jumping in and getting down to work.

Sometimes we have to just unfriend procrastination and get the job done while we are motivated to do it and while we are fresh. Then we can relax after the work is completed. It may be a little more challenging this way, but in the end, the job gets done and isn't hanging over us or looming in front of us.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, C,E,A,C, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.