while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.
I thought it might be good to explore the subject of procrastination today. I find that even though I'm managing to meet my commitment every day, I'm often waiting until the very last minute to do it.
So, From Wikipedia, we have this wonderful article on Procrastination, what it means, why we do it, and even the different types of procrastinators.
Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. There are three criteria for a behavior to be classified as procrastination,it must be:
(This sounds alot like that silly facebook game I got hooked on a while back... what about you guys? Anyone else have a game on facebook (or elsewhere) that is counterproductive, needless, and delaying?)
Procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt and crisis, severe loss of personal productivity, as well as societal disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. These feelings combined may promote further procrastination. While it is regarded as normal for people to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder.
The word itself comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). The term's first known appearance was in Edward Hall's The Union of the Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and York, first published sometime before 1548. The sermon reflected procrastination's connection at the time to task avoidance or delay, volition or will, and sin.
(So, before 1548 no one was a procrastinator... they (we) were all sluggards. Personally I like the word procrastinator better than sluggard. It sounds more... I dunno... more professional and less lazy!)
Causes of procrastination:
Procrastination and mental health
While procrastination is a behavioral condition, these underlying mental health disorders can be treated with medication and/or therapy. Therapy can be a useful tool in helping an individual learn new behaviors, overcome fears and anxieties, and achieve an improved quality of life. Thus it is important for people who chronically struggle with debilitating procrastination to see a trained therapist or psychiatrist to see if an underlying mental health issue may be present.
People who exhibit procrastination and decreased impulse control appear to be prone to internet addiction.
(ok... so that's something to think about, and it's interesting because it occurs to me that the internet might be a procrastinators paradise! I mean, where else can a person spend so much time "seemingly" doing something, when in actuality, you're just goofing off. I personally love the internet... and while some of what I do is actually productive and necessary - a fair amount of time is spent just fiddling around. And for me, facebook is the ultimate distraction. What about you guys? do you find facebook addictive? or are there other places on the net that suck you in?)
Traditionally, procrastination has been associated with perfectionism, a tendency to negatively evaluate outcomes and one's own performance, intense fear and avoidance of evaluation of one's abilities by others, heightened social self-consciousness and anxiety, recurrent low mood, and "workaholism". According to Robert B. Slaney adaptive perfectionists (when perfectionism is egosyntonic) were less likely to procrastinate than non-perfectionists, while maladaptive perfectionists (people who saw their perfectionism as a problem; i.e., when perfectionism is egodystonic) had high levels of procrastination (and also of anxiety).
(Ok... yeah... perfectionist.. that's me. Sometimes perfectionism is a plus, but some of us take it to extremes... extremists that we are... and then.. well... it causes the sin of procrastination! At least that's what I'm thinking. Anybody else have thoughts on this one?)
Types of procrastinators
So there we have it guys! The scoop on procrastination complete with commentary. And how are we doing with our daily commitments? Anyone else got the procrastination bug? Or is it just me? If I'm not the only one, and if you've got it bad, here's a link to Procrastination Central. There might be something there you can use. And if it works for you, let me know. I need all the help I can get!
We all know the importance of keeping promises to people. Keeping promises leads to trust which is one of the bedrocks of any good relationship, whether it be with friends, work colleagues or your partner. However there is one element of keeping promises that gets overlooked – keeping promises to yourself.
When it comes to personal productivity and just generally being able to get stuff done, committing to doing something and then actually doing it is critical. All those to-do items you casually put down on your list with no real conviction to finish off might seem harmless, but they represent broken commitments that over time wear away at your personal trust. Do it often enough and you will find you have very little conviction to actually get stuff done. You can blithely say you will do something without ever acting upon it. However, get into the habit of keeping promises to yourself and you will find it much easier to complete projects and build new habits. When you say you will do something you mean it.
The day after I made the decision to do a project on "Keeping Our Commitments," this post on Promises showed up on the Daily Om:
Be careful with the promises you make as they are energetic vows taken seriously by our souls and the universe.
Ever since human beings could speak to one another, they have been making promises and keeping them or not keeping them. Those who keep their promises are regarded as people of integrity, while those who don’t keep their promises are regarded as people who at best can’t be taken seriously and at worst can’t be trusted. Sometimes we forget how powerful our words are, and we use them haphazardly or unconsciously, creating expectations that are never fulfilled, leaving disappointment and distrust in our wake.
On an even deeper level, there are promises we may have made to ourselves that we don’t remember because they have slipped into our unconscious. An early heartache may have been followed by a promise never to trust love again. Without realizing it, we may be fulfilling that promise and wondering why our love life looks so grim. At an even deeper level, many people who recall past lives become aware that they made a promise lifetimes ago that they are still keeping. For example, a vow of poverty taken in a lifetime as a monk may be holding someone back from fulfilling his earning potential now.
Upon realizing that we have made a promise we no longer wish to be beholden to, we can perform a ritual of requesting release from that bond. In doing so, we clear ourselves of outmoded connections and patterns, returning ourselves to a clean slate. Then we can resolve to remember that our word is sacred and to be very conscious of any promises we make to ourselves or to others.
We may ask to be released from any promises made to ourselves or others in our present, past, or future lives, consciously or unconsciously, that are holding us back from fulfilling our greatest good. We may ask that love, light, and healing be sent to any souls who have suffered from our inability to be true to our word, including ourselves. We can ask for the wisdom to do our best and from this point forward to be true to our word, promising only what we truly intend to deliver. The resulting clear conscience and liberated energy will illustrate this truth: We are only as good as our word.
When I say "deal breaker," what I am talking about are circumstances and situations that anyone would agree make excellent reasons NOT to keep the commitment. I'm assuming each of our lists will be slightly different, and I think it's best if your "deal breaker" list is short and easy to remember. Mine looks something like this:
This way, when you are tired or stressed or busy and the temptation to overlook your commitment "just this one time" comes up, all you have to do is remember your deal breakers. Did the house burn down? Was there a tsunami? Am I in the hospital having surgery? What, am I suddenly a millionare? If the answer to those questions is "no," well, then... no excuses... just do the thing!
And speaking of "do the thing," I'm off to do mine. What about you? Have you met your commitment for today?
Alright guys, today is the day! It's time to commit to something that you will... or won't... do every day for the next 30 days. I've got some guidelines that I think might be helpful. They are as follows:
Also, very important:
Are you ready?
What are you waiting for?
Go do that thing!
Hi guys, well, I know it's been a while! I have been really busy. Our last project was a real door opener for me, and I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to just stay caught up with the barest of minimums. Also, I've been putting off this next project because it involves making a commitment... and I wanted to be sure that I'm committed to it before I got it going. And it looks like today is the day!
I started with something I've been wanting to do for quite a while and gave the Prosperity Project a makeover. I'm still working the bugs out of our new look, so if any of you experience wierdness or glitches or something that's just not right, please let me know so I can fix it.
Next on my agenda is to get our last project wrapped up and the next one started. We'll be working on keeping the small commitments we make to ourselves, and I'm hoping to have it posted before tomorrow morning.
Here's something totally out of context! I'm doing a mini-workshop tonight on Ho'oponopono and I found these two interviews with Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len. I'm wishing I would have posted them when we did our project on Ho'oponopono, so here they are now. A little late and after the fact... but useful and thought provoking nonetheless.
I'm hoping the sound is OK because the computer I'm doing this on has the sound card disabled, and I won't be able to actually hear the videos until after this is posted and I'm on my laptop instead.