Balance · Life

The Procrastination Game: Part 1 in a Series About Finding Balance

We love playing this game with ourselves. We put off tasks, sometimes because we don’t enjoy them or simply because there is too much to do. Then we tell ourselves that we work better under pressure anyway. Really, we’re just surprised that whatever we had to do turned out as well as it did. But what if we had taken the time to do it right and on time in the first place? What could we have accomplished if we had just stopped the procrastination games that we play with ourselves and simply did the task at hand?

We all have many reasons to procrastinate, but for time’s sake, I’ll just focus on one type of procrastinator. This is what Rita Emmett calls in her book The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now the “I Wanna Do It All” procrastinator. The culture that we live in today is full of calendars, palms, alerts, and day planners. In society today, it has almost become cool if you are always busy. We can look at our schedules and feel important because we have so many demands on our time. The problem with wanting to do it all is that there is physically not enough time in the world to do it all. We have BBS — Busy Bee Syndrome.

For those of us who have BBS (I am not immune.), it is important to figure out how to find balance in our busy schedules. You might be thinking, “I’m too busy to find balance!” However, it is possible. For those of us who try to take on too much, Rita Emmett has a few words of advice. She suggests that the first thing that should be done is to set limits. She claims, “Some people find that they don’t need to eliminate activities in their lives, but they do benefit from scheduling ‘just say no’ days on their calendars. They block out a certain day (or portions of a day) to catch up on things. Then they decline invitations or activities that come up that might interfere with this blocked-out time.” By doing this, the schedule is still being made for those who love marking in their planners, but time to catch up is scheduled in, as well.

It’s time to face that fact that we can do it all, but we can’t do it all at the same time. Rita suggests that we use our next adventure as a goal for finishing the task at hand as many of us who are “I Wanna Do It All” procrastinators move from one unfinished project to another just adding more stress to our already hectic lives. Our next project becomes that goal or award for completing the current project. By doing this, we control our time and gain a sense of accomplishment as each project is checked off our lists. It also keeps us from throwing too many irons in the fire.

When we are able to complete our tasks, we are able to feel more self-worth. We find that we have more time. And we find that we are more centered, allowing us to get the job done.

Join me next time for the Series About Finding Balance.

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