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How Thinking Differently Can Make Those Boring Tasks a Pleasure
We all know that feeling of pressure as BAS time looms in view. That time we have been putting off for as long as we can.
It’s early Saturday morning, a time when it would be nice lying in bed having a sleep in, and instead I am contemplating my morning of bookkeeping, which again I have left until the last minute. That dreaded word procrastination!
Whether it’s because we find it boring, or scary or just because we don’t know where to start, it’s something that we all do at some time or another. And this can be anything because different things challenge different people.
It’s that item that always seems to fall to the bottom of our priority list, no matter how often we place it at the top, or maybe it doesn’t even make our task list at all!
Even though we know we are procrastinating, we are in complete denial and tell ourselves excuses like “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy”. We often seem to find something else that is more important and comfort ourselves by moving it to the top of our to-do list for the following day or week, never really getting to it, until we HAVE to.
Well that’s me with bookkeeping. It’s something I am good at, but I really don’t like doing. It’s something I like to have control of and that’s another story altogether.
Tony Robbins said, “People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure”. And, working with clients and observing my own behaviour, I have noticed this to be true.
When you procrastinate you see the task you are contemplating as painful, putting it off lessens the pain and increases the pleasure in the short term. The problem is when you do this, you create more pain in the long-term.
The good news is that if you are really keen to change this pattern, you can use this knowledge to your own benefit, motivating you to do the task earlier or even choosing an entirely different method of getting the task done.
Take responsibility and notice the signs
Choose to become responsible for your actions and be honest with yourself about what you are putting off. There are many signs that you are procrastinating including; carrying something forward on your task list more than three times, doing lower priority tasks first, sitting down to do your task and distracting yourself with something else pretty much straight away, even getting up to make a cuppa. When you do this, you avoid the pain of doing it now and gain the pleasure of putting it off.
Take a look into the future
See yourself at your deadline date. Imagine the pressure and stress that you will create for yourself by putting it off. See yourself trying to juggle everything at the last minute. Even imagine someone else putting a very high priority task in front of you at the eleventh hour that HAS to be done immediately. Notice how it feels as you are wading through that task that you have been putting off. When you do this it builds more pain around procrastinating
Turn it around
Imagine the sense of achievement and the freedom you will feel after you have done it. Choose something to reward yourself with when you do it now and think of all the options you have to turn it around. That can be anything from creating an earlier deadline, making it the first thing you do the next day, to delegating or outsourcing. When you do this, you build pleasure around doing it immediately.
There are so many options to avoid putting things off, so you can move through the short-term pain of doing it now and enjoy the long-term pleasure of early completion. Over the last couple of weeks of my procrastination pattern, I have found my option. The solution is quite obvious and simple, a solution I have been putting off, it’s time to outsource.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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