Tag Archives: Overcoming Procrastination

The elasticity of time

The_Persistence_of_Memory

Even though I use a quote from Albert Einstein elsewhere on this site, this post is not an exploration of his theory of relativity!

In recent weeks I have experienced both the total relaxation of holidays and the hectic busyness of a very full work schedule. Every day that passed apparently had the same number of hours on the clock. But it certainly didn’t feel that way.

The clock ticks at the same pace all the time. Each day comes and goes. The sun rises and then sets. Newspapers land in the stores with a new date.  Yet, time can feel so elastic.

On some holidays, with days of unstructured relaxation lying ahead, time can appear to be infinite. And many of us will tend to act as if there is an unlimited supply of time. But the clock is ticking at the same pace.

When we are under pressure, facing a deadline, or have over-committed ourselves, it feels like time is in very short supply. We work to maximise the output of every single minute. Yet, the clock is ticking at the same pace.

From working closely with people in our ‘Overcoming Procrastination’ workshops, I have noticed that our varying perception of the value of time can lie at the root of many non-productive behaviours. Why do we treat our time as being precious and valuable one day, yet the following day act as if it is a commodity with an infinite supply?

Finding a more consistent or level balance on how we value our time can be hugely effective in helping us get into a productive mode and ultimately, achieve our targets and goals. If we can find our optimal ‘sense of urgency’ and ensure that it is sustainable, then we will have developed a very productive habit.

The ‘sense of urgency’ label may have become a cliche in many business circles but I think it accurately captures a critical point of human behaviour. Of course, it’s easy to abuse the concept, especially in corporate environments where ‘sense of urgency’ is measured as a required competency. I have seen many expend a lot of energy in creating a storm of dust but ultimately achieving very little.

So, here’s a key question: what is the optimal level of urgency that gets you moving on what you need to do but doesn’t tire you too quickly?

In recent months, I have developed the habit of a daily reflection, mostly completed before I begin my work. At present, I reflect on four points under the heading of ‘sense of urgency’:

  1. My time is not infinite
  2. Today will never come again
  3. Now is the time to act
  4. I am at my best when I move with purpose

What works for you when you work to arm yourself with your optimal sense of urgency?

Overcoming Procrastination – Cork September ’09

It’s showtime!

The first Smarter Egg Overcoming Procrastination programme will commence on Wednesday, September 23rd at the Ambassador Hotel, Cork. The first session will run from 7pm to 9.30pm.

This will be the first of four sessions with the other dates reserved for September 30th and October 14th & 28th.

Places on this initial programme are strictly limited to just fifteen people. Already, almost half of the places are reserved so procrastination on signing up will likely lead to disappointment!

This programme will be a unique blend of different learning elements: interactive workshops, facilitated discussions, personal assignments with a special option of individual coaching in the area of procrastination.

If you would like to participate or would like to treat a spouse, family member or colleague to an innovative learning experience, then please contact us immediately to reserve your place.

Procrastination, regret & motivation

procrastination

Procrastination isn’t a victimless crime. And it probably shouldn’t be described as a crime either.

Procrastination can have consequences. We can miss opportunities. Relationships can fade unnecessarily. Sometimes, we even face sanctions because of our failure to do something on time.

This story, from one of the better sources of inspiration on productivity online, is quite powerful. Procrastination has meant that a dream lies unfulfilled.

But there’s hope.

The powerful emotion of regret can act as a motivator.

I’ve turned my feeling of regret into a motivator. I don’t want to be upstaged or upset by my own inaction again. Put off and delay and prepare to pay.

It almost sounds like a mantra and maybe it’s a little trite. But it sticks.

Put off and delay and prepare to pay.

Back to school!

back to school

Is there anyone in the world who sees those three words and instantly rejoices?!

My recollections of summertime as a schoolboy are generally happy ones. The freedom to sleep late. The freedom to come and go as you please. Playing indoors or outdoors depending on the generosity of the weather. Trips here and there. The beach. Ice cream. The ‘milk’ headache when you came inside from playing ball and gulped a cold drink. Reading books and magazines for fun, not because you ‘had’ to.

And then, when it seemed like you were living the perfect existence, it happened. Somewhere, most likely passing by a shop front, you see this truly horrible sign.

Back To School!

How could someone put an exclamation mark after it? Didn’t they realise that this was a grave and sickening message. How could anyone be jovial or excited?

The end of the summer was nigh. The end of freedom. The end of happiness.

Or so it seemed.

As it happens, I quite enjoyed school. Unlike many of my friends, I don’t suffer from nightmares about schooldays or exam stress. I even remember being quite enthralled by the ‘newness’ of the new school year with the new books and fresh copies.

But I hated the concept of ‘back to school’. And I still do.

Now, when I walk past a shop front and I see the big BTS signs encouraging me to buy whatever they believe children need, I still experience a residual resentment. And I wonder if other people feel the same? Is this the smartest way of marketing your schoolchild products/services? Are you as likely to generate a chill as a desire to enter the shop?

And of course, in the same way that Christmas now begins in October, it appears that the BTS signs emerge in early June.

So, as we embark on a new season of exciting learning programmes at Smarter Egg, can I be strong and avoid any references to going back to school? September sees the launch of two new Break From The Pack groups as well as the introduction of our new Overcoming Procrastination programme.

Back to school! Is it just me?!