Saturday, November 21, 2015


By Mary Kennedy                 
Are you feeling overwhelmed by your To-Do list? Now that the holidays are almost up us, are things spiraling out of control and your patience and vitality are at a low ebb?
If you can relate to the paragraph above, I need to warn you that something deadly is lurking on the horizon. It's called Procrastination and it's appealing, seductive and invariably makes matters worse.
Why do we procrastinate when we're feeling stressed-out and overwhelmed by our to-do list? It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Why make things tougher on ourselves by stalling, delaying, putting off till tomorrow what we should be doing today? Wouldn't our natural inclination be to get started and get finished as quickly as we can?
Sadly, no. We often procrastinate and sometimes we don't even know why. We get caught up in a negative mind-set and the idea of doing the dreaded task becomes more and more attractive as time goes by.  Have you ever put off writing a difficult letter to someone? Settling a billing dispute with a doctor's office? Doing a 4 hour online training for your job? I'm sure you can relate! The longer you put it off, the more daunting the task becomes. Stress levels spiral almost out of control and nothing gets done.
Here are a few reasons we tend to procrastinate. Can you identify with them?
The task is boring, dull and not at all appealing. Let's face it. Who wants to pay a stack of bills when a yummy movie awaits on Netflix?
Fear of doing a bad job. That end-of-year work report should be well within your capabilities (after all, you've written one every year for the past six years) but maybe you're afraid you'll mess up on this one. Rumors of "down-sizing" are floating around and you can't afford to make a mistake. Your job might be on the line.
You're so stressed out, you've lost sight of your priorities. It's vitally important that you get quotes from contractors about home renovations--after all, you want to put your home on the market and make a nice profit, but instead you flee to the kitchen to do some holiday baking. Really? Cooking and baking can certainly be fun, productive and relaxing but is that really where you should spend your time right now? Making those phone calls and getting those quotes is more important. If you think cookies are more important, you're not thinking clearly!
You're so disorganized, you can't even find the paper work to start the dreaded task.

    You have too many tempting distractions, Netflix, Candy Crush, etc. You can't focus on the task at hand because there are too many tempting alternatives.  Voice mail, iPad, texting, e-mail, movies, video games and more.  There are electronic temptations everywhere.                                 
You have no time management skills. You need to get your ducks in a row.
 There are some easy fixes for these problems and I'm going to tackle them in next Saturday's blog. Never fear, help is on the way!

Mary Kennedy