Procrastination – Good or bad?

April 29, 2013

Is procrastination good or bad?

Is procrastination good or bad?

Is procrastination good or bad? The outcome will tell you the answer!

In this post, I will give some reasons why procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing! I’m not, however, advocating that the ends justifies the means. Even if the outcome is positive, if the reason for procrastinating is lacking, then procrastination can become a bad habit to acquire!

First, let’s explore possible reasons for procrastination.

  • The activity or task is not pleasant or rewarding.
  • The activity or task causes stress or other negative reactions or emotions.
  • The activity or task is potentially harmful to self or others.
  • There is not enough information to make a decision or to move forward.
  • There is no time in the schedule for implementation.
  • Others are dissuading the decision or otherwise being nay-sayers.
  • The activity or task is illegal.
  • You don’t believe you have the appropriate tools, talents, or financial means to accomplish the task.
  • Fear of success.
  • Fear of failure.
  • Lacking the knowledge of where to begin or how to implement the task.
  • Feeling coerced or manipulated to perform the activity.
  • Being rushed into making a decision or beginning a project or task.
  • Just plain don’t want to do it!

I’m sure there are other reasons you can think of for procrastination.

All of the above reasons can be legitimate reasons for procrastination but they can also be excuses or can be masking a hidden issue. Knowing yourself will help you discern which is the case.

So, what are legitimate reasons to procrastinate?

  • The activity or task is not pleasant or rewarding. In and of itself, this does not seem to be a good reason. There are many things we must do each day that are not pleasant or do not offer rewards but are a necessary part of life. If this is a task that you can delegate to someone who can do it without an adverse feeling toward the activity, then this would seem like a reasonable option.
  • The activity or task causes stress or other negative reactions or emotions. This alone is not a good reason to procrastinate. Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to growth. If the reasons for negative reactions or emotions have a different underlying reason(s), this needs to be explored and dealt with.
  • The activity or task is potentially harmful to self or others. This is a no brainer. In this case, procrastinating is not going to remove any potential for harm. The activity or task must not be engaged in until it can be modified to remove the potential for injury or harm.
  • There is not enough information to make a decision or to move forward. It is prudent to have sufficient information to make a sound decision. In this case, procrastination is indicated.
  • There is no time in the schedule for implementation. This is a legitimate concern, provided that it is not a hidden excuse. Explore options that will open up the schedule for the task being considered.
  • Others are dissuading the decision or otherwise being nay-sayers. You need discernment on this one. Sometimes those other voices are correct. For more information on discernment, see my post on this topic.
  • The activity or task is illegal. Procrastination has no place here. Obviously, just don’t do it!
  • You don’t believe you have the appropriate tools, talents, or financial means to accomplish the task. Is this an excuse or a fact? Get the resources you need to get the job done.
  • Fear of success. This is a real possibility. Discernment is needed here.
  • Fear of failure. Know yourself. Get the necessary help.
  • Lacking the knowledge of where to begin or how to implement the task. You don’t want to blindly jump into a project or situation. Get the necessary help.
  • Feeling coerced or manipulated to perform the activity. Discernment is needed here although it is usually a gut feeling when you are being coerced or manipulated. Be strong, call the behavior out and hold the other accountable for their actions.
  • Being rushed into making a decision or beginning a project or task. Find out the reason for the time crunch. You might be able to negotiate a deadline or get assistance to meet the goals.
  • Just plain don’t want to do it! This is a personal choice. We have free will. Just be aware that all decisions have consequences. Can you live with the consequences?

As you can see, procrastination has its place. Be a discerning individual and make wise decisions. You will increase your chances of success!

As always, I’m available for questions, coaching, etc.


Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise

February 20, 2013

Air Cav infantry Soldiers compete in company challenge

We’ve almost completed two months of this new year! If you’re not on track with your exercise goals, here are some tips that you might consider.

If you aren’t reaching your goals, it could be because the goals are set too high, you can’t physically meet them, you aren’t emotionally prepared, you aren’t prioritizing your time, or you simply don’t want to succeed. There might also be other reasons or excuses. First determine which category you fall under. Really examine your motivations. Try to be as honest with yourself as you can. You might also want to solicit input from others. How do they see you in relation to your goals?

What to do if you have set your goals too high?

  • This is a common problem. At the beginning of the year, enthusiasm and hope tend to be high. We might overestimate our motivation for change.
  • Parceling goals into smaller sub-goals such as amount of time spent in exercise per day helps improve the odds of success. Try starting with only a few minutes, maybe only 5 minutes in the beginning, especially if you are physically de-conditioned or have physical challenges such as arthritis.
  • Stick with the same sub-goal until you have measured success before progressing on to more challenge. Success breeds success, so if you can feel some measure of success, this motivates you to continue.

What to do if you are physically unable to meet your exercise goals?

  • Determine what your physical challenges are and find ways around them.
  • Swimming, biking, and walking are easier on the joints than jogging.
  • If you have muscle weakness, you might try strengthening exercises. Even though these are not aerobic, the increase in muscle mass gained will help you burn more calories and lose weight. You will also feel more toned.
  • Warm up and cool down are always important to avoid injuries.
  • For more specific physical limitations, consult you healthcare provider to be sure that the exercise you want to attempt is safe.

What if you are emotionally unprepared?

  • There are a variety of reasons that this might be the case: anxiety, depression, stress, etc. Get medical treatment, if these emotions are robbing you of your ability to function in your daily activities.
  • Be aware that exercise helps improve your emotions so having that resolve to “just do it” is needed. For this, you might want to get an exercise partner that can help you stay motivated and encouraged.

What if you aren’t prioritizing your time?

  • There are many reasons for this, the most common is over-scheduling your day or over-committing yourself. It’s okay to say “no” when it is detrimental to your health!
  • For some it is easier to schedule the most important things earlier in the day to be sure that those get completed and scheduling the less important things later in the day when energy levels tend to be lower. Find what works for you and implement that in your scheduling.
  • There are many good books available that deal with time management. Coaching is also helpful.

What if you simply don’t want to succeed?

  • Knowing yourself is key here!
  • A common reason for self-sabotage is fear of success. Is this your reason? What are you afraid of? Dig deep and be honest with yourself. You might also want to solicit the help of someone that you trust and that you feel knows you well. Or maybe an impartial person who can help you to sort through your various reasons for lack of success.
  • Sometimes working with another person who is not succeeding is good because you can see the negative things in the other person that you tend to avoid seeing in yourself. As you reflect on these and are helping the other person overcome their challenges, you can begin to see how those challenges are also holding you back.

These are just a few suggestions. I’m sure you can think of more! Feel free to post your ideas below or to contact me with your questions.

You CAN succeed!


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