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© Gail Underwood Parker

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soapbox: Procrastination and Choices

I recently have been reading a book about procrastination*.  So far I do not think it is a great book, but my personal measure of a helpful book is whether I finish the book with two-four specific takeaways that I think will be helpful to me. So far I find the book a bit labored, and with fewer concise, practical tips or strategies than I had hoped, but I am glad I am reading it, because I have already found two good takeaways. 
Today I want to share a particular viewpoint of the author that struck me as very valuable. Having occasionally struggled with procrastination myself, and having raised children who seemed to use procrastination as their default setting, I was intrigued to try this way of looking at things. 

The author said that most people label things/tasks as either:
     1. Things we want to do.  [positive, things we enjoy]
     2. Things we have  to do. [negative, tasks forced on us, things we dread]
Those two categories and only those two. The author suggested that since we feel powerless to refuse the things we are required to do, we often procrastinate doing them as our only way of exerting power over the task. 

The author proposed including a third category... Things we choose to do. 

Things we choose to do may be things that might carry a cost [emotional, time, or money] that made them something we didn't want, but might still be worth doing because of the reward. 

Since reading this I have found the concept helpful to reframe my thinking and have a better attitude. Try it and see what you think, then share your reactions.

[On Focus on Fostering next Tuesday I will tell how this helps in fosterparenting and next week I will share the other takeaway I have gotten his book.]

*The Now Habit   by Neil Fiore, PhD

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