Saturday, July 13, 2013

One Easy Way to Beating Procrastination! (How to Do Better Work and Beat Deadlines Too!) - And Some Funny Stuff!

Do you find yourself fighting procrastination? I do everyday of my life. But, I can say, that (I think) I have a reputation for being very quick; for always getting good work done well and on time. I see far too many people who procrastinate all the time and become their own worse enemies. Procrastination causes much stress and I think that stress causes poor work quality in some cases and I know for a fact that stress causes poor health (some special people feed off of stress - weirdos!)

My secret to getting things done; preventing procrastination and alleviating stress? Well, it's not much of a secret, but it's more of following some common sense advice my mom gave me long ago whenever there was a huge job ahead of me. She said, "Whenever there is a big job, if you wait until near the deadline and then sit and decide to do it all at once, it is such a giant undertaking and will cause much stress and worry. Start early, and do it a little by little. Doing so will allow you to take your time and you will do better quality work and be on time. You will greatly lower your stress."

My mom told me this because when I was a student in school, I would never do my summer homework. I got terrible grades. Were you that way too? I'd get an assignment to do over the summer holidays. I'd figure at the start of summer, "I have 3 months. No problem!" I'd do nothing. A month later, I'd think, "I still have 2 months summer holiday left. No problem!" More playing.... The nagging worry would begin in the back of my mind. Still, a month later, "I haven't even started on my home work. Oh well, still 1 month. I'll start next week. No problem!"

That "next week" would be ignored. Then it would be, "Uh, oh, two weeks of summer vacation left. I'd better start." But I'd still be having too much fun. Then one week. Then 6 days. Then the worrying at night, before bedtime, would really kick in...

Then 5 days until school starts. Still no work on the homework. Then 4 days. The pressure is on! Then 3 days! STRESS! FREAKING OUT! TERROR! No homework at all... Then, with only 2 days left, I'd open the assignment and see the mass volume of the task...

"Wow! This is a big assignment. Oh, well. There's only two days left before school starts. There's no way to finish this work!" So, I wouldn't even start!... Did I ever mention that I got bad grades in elementary school? I did? Maybe this procrastination could be one of the reasons why? (If the above few paragraphs make you nervous then I know you can relate!)

Even though my mom had always given me the advice, I didn't listen. That is, until many years later when I started my own business. So now that's what I do. I always start early and do a little by little.

A week ago or so, I had a deadline for a 50 some page business document... Worrying about it was stressing me out! But, well before the deadline, I started and worked on it for a few hours a day, everyday instead of waiting until the last day and having to spend all day and night doing it. As a result, I was one day ahead of the scheduled deadline and was complimented on doing quality work. 

The entire point of this? Folks, waiting and doing poor quality work is all a part of procrastination. Procrastination offers you no benefits whatsoever. It causes worry and stress - and that can't be good for your health. I see sick people at work all the time. Guess what? It seems to me that the people who don't procrastinate are happier and healthier.

I believe there is a connection.

So, take my mom's advice whenever there's a deadline: "Start early, and do it a little by little. Doing so will allow you to take your time and you will do better quality work and be on time."

It does greatly lower your stress!

And, on that note, to help you lower your stress on this workday, here's some funny stuff I found on a wonderful website named Rocket News. The post is entitled: “Procrastinate”? “Calm Under Pressure?” Take a Page from the Pros

Time limit, cutoff, due date. AKA “deadline”. Of course the concept applies to any number of jobs. But let it be said that the real experts on the subject are cartoonists / comic book artists.
These professionals truly know the possibilities of pre-deadline behavior. Today, we present to you 99 ways comic book artists find themselves approaching, or avoiding, their day of reckoning. See if you compare…

*You have flashbacks of elementary school and the day before going back to school after summer break. 

*You know for a scientific fact that the true deadline is 11:59 of that date.

*When your editor calls you for a status update, you tell him “80% done”, but you haven’t even picked up your pen yet. But the math works out because you’ll only put in 20% effort.

*You mutter to yourself, “So, the time has come…” and finally pick up your pen.

*You go on Twitter and Facebook seeking reassurance by checking what your fellow artists are doing at the moment.

*You have a few drinks to see if it’ll help. And discover (again) that it doesn’t.
*The thought occurs to you, “That deadline leaves a lot of room for error, doesn’t it?”
*You stop responding to your editor’s calls with any actual numbers, like “I’ll be done with this page in the blink of a jiffy lamb’s tail”.
*You try chanting, “Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate!”. And 3 seconds later you’re playing with your iPhone.
*You decide to pretend it’s all a bad dream.

*You think to yourself,  ”If I were my editor, I wouldn’t hire me.”

*You procrastinate to the end, and you beat yourself up about it.

*You tell yourself to work nonstop and you’ll be able to finish by 5am, but 20 seconds later you’re surfing the net.

*And you repeat it all again for the next issue.
These are just a few of the hilarious comments from these cartoonists geeks... To see more click here.

Have a great day! It's the weekend so you probably can procrastinate a bit, but, on Monday, GET TO WORK! Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Axel said...

Why has this column/blog recently morphed into a self-help book? What happened to astute and witty observations on life in Japan?