Have you been putting something off?

Here is an excerpt from a great article on why we procrastinate and tips on how to stop procrastinating.

“You know how it goes. One part of your brain says –

“Stop procrastinating. Just get on with it. Finish it!”

But then another part screams-

“But I don’t want to!”

Ziegarnik effect

It may not be anything major, but the task keeps niggling at the back of your mind. It can leave you feeling unsettled, slightly annoyed and stressed. Here’s the thing: you can’t be fully at peace until you complete the task. Why? Because the Ziegarnik effect is in full swing. The Ziegarnik effect is the tendency we have to worry about something we have started and haven’t yet finished. But if you can just get it done, your brain will breathe a sigh of relief. You will feel lighter. Chances are you will have turbocharged energy levels too.”

Read the entire article at  http://learningfundamentals.com.au/blog/how-to-motivate-yourself-at-any-time/

Procrastinating, why do you do it?

There are  tasks or projects that needs to be completed and they are  getting put off to the side and nothing is being done.  Many times the problems is that you don’t know what to do.  Break the task or project in smaller pieces that so you can start on the things your know how and complete them.  As you continue you will find the parts you are not sure how to handle.  When you have determined the part that is outside your knowledge, ask for help, do research or delegate to someone with that expertise.  Let procrastination be a trigger to look at the situation as a problem solving question instead of an activity you don’t like to do.

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Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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Comments

  1. This is so true – I resonate with this “effect.” It does wear you down as it hangs out there, undone. Even taking one step in the direction of progress relieves a little bit of this emotion. I have a few things that have been weighing on me, and most of them require someone else’s involvement, which makes getting them completed tricky. But reading this today reminds me that there is power is finally taking action, so I am feeling more motivated to try to get the ball rolling:)

    • It makes it easier to stop procrastinating when you think of all the benefits of not having to keep thinking about the incomplete task. Of being free from that burden. You’re right we have the power to take action.

  2. I never heard of the “Ziegarnik” effect. I’ve certainly experienced it and have seen others go through it too, but I didn’t know it by that name. I’ve noticed that when procrastination is going on, it’s an indicator of something. It could be that the project seems too large, the next step isn’t obvious, more information needs to be gathered, or it’s something that isn’t a priority to do. I like to tease out the why of procrastination to determine then what is needed.

    In general, I’m not a procrastinator. But the times I have been, more often than not, it’s because my priorities have shifted and that “thing” I thought I wanted to do, is no longer critical. The other significant factor is that I need to do one small thing to move forward. Once that happens, it’s easier for me to gain momentum.

    • Thanks for your insights. When I procrastinate it is because there is a problem I don’t know how to solve. I determine what the problem is and a solution then things begin to fall into place. I don’t give myself permission to let go of a task. It is helpful for me to start evaluating if the project is still something I want to do when I am procrastinating. Thanks for the help.

    • Once I find the first step, I also find it is easier or more fun or more interesting to do than I thought. Sometimes the first step isn’t at the beginning of the project but in the middle or the end and I work from that first idea to get the project done. It isn’t always a linear progression.

  3. When I procrastinate and let something go too long that’s my clue to delegate it to someone else. I used to do my own book keeping. I hated doing it, so made myself update it every Friday. That way it didn’t take long, so was less painful. If I let it go, I’d be in real trouble. I finally hired someone to do it for me.

    • I like the idea of delegating a task that you are not interested in or may not have the skill set to complete. We should always work with our strengths and get support where we need it.

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