Finding Time to Stop Waiting for Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow …

You’ve heard the expression “Tomorrow never comes.” So you know that making time choices that stop delegating tasks to endless “tomorrow’s” is a skill worth cultivating.

And I use the words skill and choices very much on purpose here!

ThinkingDon’t think of procrastination as a character flaw. 

That cements it in your psyche and makes it a much bigger hurdle than it needs to be.  Time management skills and helpful time choices can help you move past procrastination and keep you moving.  Thinking of procrastination as a character flaw will keep you stuck in self criticism.

The most recent issue of Newsweek includes an article by Wray Herbert titled “The Lure of Tomorrow.”  In this exploration of time challenges and time choices, Mr. Herbert writes about a recent study that looks at one possible rationale for procrastination. Specifically, the study asks, if we see a task as psychologically distant, are we more likely to postpone it?

In the study the experimenters found that subjects who were asked to answer a question with an abstract response were likely to take longer to answer (or not answer at all) than those asked for a concrete response.  This supports the notion that we are, in the aggregate, more likely to tackle a task immediately if it is concrete, rather than abstract.

Small Steps Work

That makes good, intuitive sense to me.  Breaking a task down into smaller, concrete steps gives you an “in” – an entrance into the activity.  First steps are far less daunting to contemplate than entire journeys! The more concrete you can be, the more accessible each step is, and the more likely you are to take it.

Every journey takes place one step at a time.  A first step is something you can always take today.  Often, a journey is something that is too big to start today – and is easily put off ’til tomorrow … and tomorrow … and tomorrow.

Wray Herbert puts it well, at the close of his article:

Lots of psychology experiments don’t have a practical take-home message, but these do. You know that exercise routine you’ve been talking about starting up in January? Well, forget about how virtuous it is, or how healthy, or how it might boost your confidence. Instead, think about putting on your sneakers and tying them, one at a time; entering the front door of the gym and walking to the first treadmill you see; stepping aboard and starting to move your legs, right leg first.

What works best for you, when it comes to procrastination?  I’d love to hear from you!

What if you could find another hour every week? You can! For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, twice-weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …

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