The Nike “Just do it” slogan is fine in theory. But for a dyed in the wool procrastinator like myself, “just do it” provides its own unique challenges.
How to Break a Bad Habit
I used to joke about having my PhD in Procrastination. Lately, however, I’m not finding it so amusing. I’ve now arrived at a place where I really want to do something about this debilitating bad habit. But how DO you go about changing self-defeating behaviour?
I start at the library.
I’ve read books before on procrastination. Now don’t chuckle too loudly. While, yes, procrastination is still one of my bad habits I’m struggling with, I have garnered a few coping techniques from self-help books. One author suggested that if it pops into your head, do it right away, like taking the garbage out, making a phone call or throwing a load of laundry into the machine. This technique is usually enough to get me up off the couch and moving in the right direction. But lately it seems I need to up my stop-procrastinating game.
So last Saturday when I was at the library, I looked up Eat that Frog by Brian Tracey. At the last place I worked, the management team was reading a chapter a week, and a couple of them highly recommended the book. Of course I kept putting off reading it. Now that I’m in action mode, I’ve made a start.
The first thing I liked about this book was the Preface and Introduction. Brian Tracy makes it clear that to successfully complete a goal, multitasking isn’t necessarily the answer. As the author notes, finishing a project gives you a real sense of satisfaction.
I’ve never been much of a fan of multitasking. Truth be told, the concept makes absolutely no sense to me. It’s more logical (from my POV) to start a task or project and stick with it until it’s completed. I will (attempt to) multitask at work because it’s expected of me. But when at home (and not procrastinating) I prefer to start something and finish it before moving on to the next thing.
Life is Like That
The book’s concept is simple – if you have to eat a frog, do it quickly and get it over with. Naturally, my biggest frog at the moment is finding work. But by the time I reach the last chapter of Eat that Frog, I’m hoping to improve the quality of my life – instead of having all of these great ideas of places to go and people to see, I intend on doing instead of talking myself out of things.