Tagged: procrastination Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • gretchenrubin 12:44:19 on 2017/11/25 Permalink
    Tags: , procrastination, , , ,   

    Working Is One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Procrastination–18th Century Style. 

    “Idleness is often covered by turbulence and hurry. He that neglects his known duty and real employment naturally endeavours to crowd his mind with something that may bar out the remembrance of his own folly, and does any thing but what he ought to do with eager diligence, that he may keep himself in his own favour."

    --Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings, "Idler no. 31," November 18, 1758

    One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: "Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination." I got a kick out of seeing one of my favorite authors, Dr. Johnson, express the same notion in his inimitable, eighteenth-century style.

    Agree, disagree?

     

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:48:42 on 2017/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , papers, paperwork, , procrastination, ,   

    A Little Happier: One of the Worst Ways to Waste Time Is to ____. 

    One of my favorite things to do is to help my sister Elizabeth clear clutter. (If you want to listen to my all-time favorite episode, Very Special Episode 10, recorded from inside Elizabeth’s clutter-filled closet, listen here.)

    Our efforts included a good example of an important Secret of Adulthood: One of the worst ways to waste time is to do well something that we need not do at all.

    I wonder: Is this a special problem for Upholders? It’s probably not much of a problem for Questioners.

    Have you ever caught yourself pouring a lot of time and energy into something that, really, you didn’t need to bother to do at all?

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: One of the Worst Ways to Waste Time Is to ____. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:19:12 on 2015/12/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , procrastination, , , , , ,   

    7 Tips for Helping Someone Else to Change a Habit. 

    Ladder to sky

    In my book Better Than Before, I write about the many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. There’s a big menu of choices, which is great, because it means that we all have a variety from which to pull. Some strategies work for some people, but not others. Some strategies are available to us at certain times, but not other times.

    In Better Than Before, I focus mostly on what we can do, ourselves, to change our habits. But it’s very obvious that each of us can have a lot of influence on other people’s habits.  And often we really, really, really want to help someone else to change a key habit.

    So, if you want to help someone else to change an important habit (and I’ve certainly tried to do this myself, many times, in my loving habits-bully way), here are a few top strategies to try:

    1. The Strategy of the Four Tendencies. Figure out if the person is an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. You can read about the framework here; take the online quiz here. This is a crucial step, because once you know a person’s Tendency, the approach that works with an Obliger might make things worse with a Rebel. Chiefly…
    2. The Strategy of Accountability. This strategy is helpful for many people, but it’s crucial for Obligers, and often counter-productive for Rebels. A key point about other people and accountability? If someone asks you to hold him or her accountable, do it — and if you don’t want to do it yourself (because it can be a lot of work to hold someone accountable), help that person find other mechanisms of accountability. If a person asks for accountability, it’s because that person knows that it’s important. Many people — Upholders like me, and Questioners, and Rebels — often resist holding others accountable, but it can be invaluable.
    3. The Strategy of Convenience. Make the habit more convenient. We’re powerfully influenced by how easy it is to do something. You can help by making a habit quicker and easier. Can you leave a pill out on a dish by the coffee machine, so your sweetheart takes it every morning? Can you keep a bowl of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge to be an easy, healthy snack? Can you pull out a pile of board books, clear off the sofa, and say, “Would it be fun for you to read to  the baby for a few minutes?” Can you allow a child to keep an instrument, music stand, and music out in the living room all the time, so all those things don’t need to be pulled out and put away with every practice session?
    4. The Strategy of Treats. Whether or not a person needs accountability (see #2), activities are often more fun when we do them with someone else. Will someone enjoy a walk more, if you go, as well?  Is it more fun for that person to cook if you’re in the kitchen, or you go shopping, too?
    5. The Strategy of Clarity. When it’s not clear exactly what we’re supposed to do, we often get paralyzed and do nothing. Can you keep track of the medication schedule or the physical therapy regimen for someone else?
    6. The Strategy of Safeguards. With our habits, it helps to plan for failure. You can help someone else to anticipate difficult circumstances, and to come up with an “if-then” plan of action — whether for the holidays, for the office party, for the vacation, for the bad weather, or whatever it might be. Research shows that people do much better when they have a plan for dealing with these kinds of stumbling blocks.
    7. The Strategy of Distinctions. We’re more alike, and less alike, than we think. One difference is the Abstainer vs. Moderator approach to strong temptation. Abstainers find it easier to give things up altogether; Moderators like to indulge in moderation. Say your sweetheart wants to cut back on sugar, but you want to keep ice cream in the fridge. You say, “Just have a small serving, learn to manage yourself.” Ah, that works for Moderators. But if your sweetheart is an Abstainer, he or she will find it far easier to have none — and it’s easier to have none if there’s no ice cream in the house. So, even if you don’t find it difficult to ignore that container in the freezer, your sweetheart might do much better if you go out for ice cream if you have a craving.

    You might be thinking, “Well, the problem with these ideas is that I have to do something.” That’s right. Sometime we have to make an effort ourselves, to help someone else change a habit. And even if you think that these steps aren’t “your job” — but we can always choose to do something out of love, to help someone else.

    Have you found a way to help someone else change a habit? We can all learn from each other.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:20:54 on 2015/12/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , errands, , procrastination, , telephone,   

    Today I Overcame One of My Annoying Habits. Here’s How. 

    telephonenumberpad

    One of my worst habits — or, I should say, one of my most self-annoying habits — is that I hate to make appointments.

    I dislike using the phone. I dislike adding commitments to my calendar. I dislike getting my haircut or my teeth cleaned. Etc. So I find it very, very difficult to make myself pick up the phone and call to make appointments.

    I know this perfectly well about myself. So while I was on vacation in Kansas City last week, I vowed that I would use the Strategies of Monitoring, Scheduling, and Clarity to make a bunch of necessary appointments.

    In my book Better Than Before, I describe how I use  “Power Hour.Each weekend, I make a list of chores that I’ve been putting off, and I dedicate an hour to completing them — but Power Hour doesn’t work for appointments, because most places are only open during the week.

    So I used a special installment of my weekly “Power Hour” to get myself to tackle this dreaded task. At 6:30 a.m. this morning, I made a list of all the appointments I needed to make. And at 10:00 a.m., when I figured that everyplace would be open, I called.

    Within the hour, I made appointments to:

    — get nasal flu vaccines for my daughters and me (I’ve tried to do this before, but they kept running out)

    — get my hair cut

    –get a dentist appointment

    — get an eye doctor’s appointment for my daughter (this required two calls, and I was very impressed with myself that I made the two calls, back to back)

    –get an annual check-up for my daughter

    Well, I must say, this list doesn’t look terribly impressive, now that I type it up, but it took every ounce of my strength and habit-formation knowledge to do it.

    Phew! Funnily enough, I dread making the appointments more than keeping them — even something like going to the dentist.

    Those little tasks, left undone, drain my energy — and even though I know that, still I delay.

    It does come in handy that I wrote a whole book, Better Than Before, that covers how to form habits, how to fight procrastination, how to adjust for myself and my quirks, etc. But still: physician, heal thyself. Even if I know what to do, I still have to do it.

    How about you? Do you struggle to complete some simple, ordinary task that other people seem to find easy?

     

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel