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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time (Mis)Management Types: Another Perspective

Another day.  Another way to look at procrastination.  

And now that I've made it my business to immerse myself in all-things-procrastinational, even procrastinating is work-related.  (And tax deductible?  Except that I have yet to make a dime in this pursuit.  But maybe my procrastination losses can offset the minimal profits of my other, more lucrative occupations?)

Anyway, today I found yet another typology of procrastination in Cheryl Clausen's Time Management Tip for Procrastinators on Ezine@rticles. 

According to Ms. Clausen, getting a handle on our time challenges can be facilitated by figuring out which of the following six types fits our postponement profile:
  • Time management foilers
  • Time management exaggerators
  • Time management fretters
  • Time management stargazers
  • Time management perfectionists
  • Time management creatures of habit
Here is my translation/interpretation--the quick and dirty version:

Time management foilers are just plain stubborn.  They don't want to do things on others' schedules.  Time management exaggerators make everything way too complicated, and thus way too overwhelming.  Time management fretters worry and catastrophize about an undertaking to the point of paralysis.  Time management stargazers are dreamy and unfocused.  Time management perfectionists raise the bar on nonvital projects beyond what can be accomplished.  Time management creatures of habit are so used to procrastinating on everything that they automatically delay.

The fixes?  Foilers should "just do it," if it's something that should be done.  Exaggerators should break things down into manageable parts, and get moving.  Fretters should realize that any real difficulties are unlikely to be as painful as all that worrying.  Stargazers should come down to earth and get real.  Perfectionists should let go and realize that, with most things, done is good enough.  Creatures of habit should commit to habit change, and get on with it.

Clausen tells us to
Evaluate the rewards that behavior is giving you, and identify the rewards you could get if you let go of that behavior. Doing so will enable you to refocus your energies so you can do the right things, in the right way, for the right reason, at the right time.

My difficulty in implementing this eminently practical advice is kin to the affliction that had my Dad self-diagnosing every disease, syndrome, malady and condition he studied in medical school.  I see myself in every category.  Perhaps this means I am exaggerating my procrastination problem, which in my case leads to fretting, and inevitably to perfectionism.  As a creature of habit, my knee-jerk response is to stargaze.  And then, of course, I have to fight through my stubborn foiler reaction to all the "shoulds" above. 

But given what's at stake, I'll stay in the struggle.  And keep looking for a way to make it pay off.

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