Sunday, December 10, 2017

"This Time Of Year Is Great For Conquering Procrastination"

This is the time of year when many of us begin to realize that we have put off activities that we intended to do this year and now discover that there are only a few days in which to complete them before they slide into next year. Some probably will not get done until then.

Many of us are guilty of procrastinating - of putting things off until we have more time, until we are caught up on seemingly more important or more pressing issues, when the crisis has passed, after this event or that one happens, or until so many other things happen that can delay or forestall our getting started on the things on our list.

When we procrastinate or put off getting started, we never run the risk of being hasty or making a mistake. We aren't criticized - at least not in the moment. We are masters of our 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 say we want or need to do.

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.

Maybe we need to formulate a business plan, set an appointment, commit a business model to writing, or draft job descriptions to use in interviewing and vetting potential strategic partners that we need to work with us to create solutions for our clients.

While momentary breaks in activity can be productive - they can allow us a time to recharge or to regroup and allow an issue to appear differently to us after a little time away from it (making procrastination helpful in a way) - the issue or problem facing us didn't magically go away while we did something else. It could appear much more manageable when we return to it, but it could seem even more challenging.

Just think about all of the ways that we can avoid the activities that we know we should be doing but allow us time to procrastinate and get away from them temporarily. Then, more things come along, and the list of what we need to do continues to grow.

We all need to pause occasionally to recharge our batteries and pursue fun, pleasant activities, but these can get in the way or delay the work that we need to be doing. There's a fine line between taking a scheduled break in our workload to gain a fresh start and just escaping something we don't want to get started on or complete.

With the remaining days in 2017, we have a chance to atone for any activities which we have been procrastinating about this year. We may not be able to get to everything that remains undone on our list of goals or things we intended to do before the end of the year, but we can make a concentrated effort to put a checkmark next to many of them.

Sometimes we have to tackle procrastination head-on 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 as we start the new year.

There's nothing like a hard deadline of the end of the year facing us to provide the incentive we need to get important items on our list completed so they don't have to carry over into next year. It's normal to slow down a little at the end of the year, but we need to push ourselves to complete what we feel is important. Then we can have a great new year's celebration.


Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.