I am not too proud to admit that I have suffer from paralyzing bouts of procrastination from time to time. I’m certain it’s tied somehow to my perfectionism (which I have learned as an adult is NOT a good thing), but it’s a major pain in the heiney, nonetheless. It robs you of the satisfaction of the feeling you get at the end of a workday when you’ve really accomplished your goals. And over time, procrastination can really “set in” as a learned habit unfortunately. Plus, prolonged procrastination just makes you feel rotten about yourself. But you would never know this about me, because I have really terrific coping mechanisms for getting past the slump. Here are a handful of resources I’ve been able to turn to from time to time that have helped bump me out of a “dull torpor” (thanks, Natalie Merchant):
Tim Pychyls’s blog on Psychology Today is one of the bright spots in my week. This guy is an academic; he’s not out to make money on any “product”; he’s just a really educated dude doling out great advice. His web site is full of research on this insidious condition to help you understand the psychology behind why we procrastinate. But the best of Tim is definitely in his podcasts, so you should check those out if nothing more.
It really does drive me nuts when people suggest that procrastinators are “that way” because they can’t get organized. In my case, nothing could be further from the truth! However, I will admit that a shift in my regular “to do” list has been known to motivate me out of procrastinating. One particularly meaningful system I learned about several years ago that really had an impact on me was Getting Things Done by David Allen. GTD (as his followers call it) is a tactical framework for – well – getting things done. It’s been really effective for me.
Finally, misery loves company, so take a look at this forum and perhaps even commiserate with your fellow putter-offers.
I hope one of these resources helps you during those brief procrastination periods in your life. Are there other resources that you’ve found helpful? If so, please share with us all.