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Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


Stop procrastinating

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“Habitual delays can clutter our lives, leave us in the annoying position of always having to do yesterday’s chores. Disrespect for the future is a subtly poisonous disrespect for self, and forces us, paradoxically, to live in the past.”
Robert Grudin: Time and the Art of Living

Read all of the time management books, and you will come up with a mechanical prescription for overcoming procrastination that reads pretty much as follows:

  • Make a list of all the reasons why you want to or need to accomplish the particular task.
  • Make a list of all the factors that are blocking you from doing it.
  • Sketch out a plan for breaking the task down into manageable chunks, and for accomplishing each chunk.
  • Be patient and be positive; keep reminding yourself why you are doing it and praising yourself for your progress.
  • Give yourself big blocks of time for each chunk, to minimize gearing up and down time.
  • Be decisive; ask yourself what is the worst that could happen, and if that is acceptable, proceed forthwith.
  • Stick with your decisiveness: plow right through doubts and second thoughts.
  • Change gears the minute you sense yourself bogging down.
  • Reward yourself for each completed chunk, and reward yourself lavishly for completing the project.

If you’re not into mechanical solutions to the procrastination problem, here’s one that will delight your right brain. Create a small imaginary army of cartoon characters, each of which are assigned to tackle a specific part of the procrastination problem:

A little gardener with pruning shears, clipping away all of the “shoulds” that may be keeping you from focusing on the most important job at hand.

A big road-worker with a jackhammer blasting through all of the resistance keeping you from what you want to be doing.

A demolition squad that will take all of your negative thoughts and emotions and bulldoze them into a big pile and blow it to smithereens.

A paint crew coming out with big cans of industrial strength glue with which to affix your butt to the chair until the job is done.

A clown running around with balloons to keep everybody’s spirits up through the drudgery.

A scorekeeper standing up on an old-fashioned scoreboard keeping you posted if the inning and the score.

One great way to overcome procrastination is to find joy in the work itself, irrespective of the outcome. Why is it, the Zen master would ask, that you like sitting in a Jacuzzi and dislike having your hands in warm dishwater?

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