Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Procrastinating 101: Slowing it Down

In beginning to think about today's post, I Googled "slowing down" and found this wonderful post on, of all things, "Slowing Down," on one of my favorite sites--1000 Awesome Things.   But its focus is a bit different from the one I have in mind.  

Having finished reading and summarizing Neil Fiore's book The Now Habit:  A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play over the last couple of months of Tuesday Procrastinating 101 posts, I am ready to move on.  Not that I have mastered The Now Habit.  I will continue working with Fiore's ideas and methods for some time to come.  But I intend Put it to Bed's learning about productivity issues to be eclectic.  And I have unearthed from my basement study a book purchased some time back and never opened, which has begun calling to me.   It is Slow Down...and get More Done, by Marshall J. Cook.  (I don't remember when or where I purchased it, but it is in pristine condition, despite having been published the same year that my youngest child was born--now seventeen years ago!  So clearly, I did not rush to read it!)

I am not committing to a chapter-by-chapter approach with this one, but plan to share what strikes me as useful/significant as I make my way through the book.

For today, I offer these nuggets from Cook's introduction.  The first is his assertion that
"You can slow down, reclaim your life, and still get everything done that needs doing."

The rest are a list of questions "to get [us] started."  Cook suggests we keep a notebook handy as we consider the ideas in his book.  (I love it when an author tells me to gather pencil and paper materials for working through a book.  It feeds my stationery fetish, and makes me remember the thrill of a new semester and its promise of evolving mastery of new realms.)  Cook asks us to "take a few moments now to think about these questions and to write an initial response in [our] notebook."

  • Would you like to change anything about the way you handle time?
  • What do you do now that you really don't want to do?
  • What would happen if you stopped doing it?
  • What would you rather be doing?
  • Can you start doing at least one of those things now?
  • Are you waiting for something to happen before you start doing what you want to do?
  • Do you really have to wait?
  • What's stopping you from living the way you want to live right now?
Of course, the class clown part of me came up with a set of flippant answers immediately.  But I plan to spend some time this afternoon, with a carefully selected and appropriately themed notebook--and maybe even a special colored pen!--doing as instructed.

Next week--Chapter One, "Jumping Off the Carousel."

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