I’ve always called myself a procrastinator. I do joke how it’s my middle name but I’m begging to think it’s my first name! I started reading blogs and helpful websites about procrastinators, why they procrastinate and how they can train themselves not to do it anymore. After going through a few sites, I felt like all of the writers knew me better than my own family. I was more interested in it lately as I’ve been struggling with it more now than ever before.
I have been working for a company out of my home for a little over 2 years now. The first year and a half, I was disciplined. Since April, that seems to have gone down hill. Originally I was a consultant and billed hours to our client. I had to bill a certain number of hours each day so there was pressure to work and my work could be measured in that way. Because of this, I did well. Now I’m a pre-sales consultant. I demonstrate our product to prospective clients. There is no measurement in my job. My responsibility is to be available for the demonstrations and what I do with my non-demo times is up to me. I should use it to enhance my demonstration, improve my technique and learn more about the system. I really don’t know everything there is to know about it and that is apparent when I’m asked “Can it do this…?”
In my reading on procrastination, it says that everyone says they procrastinate in some way but a true procrastinator is someone who puts off work mainly because they have a fear of failure. Putting it off until the last-minute gives themselves the excuse that the task wasn’t executed well because they didn’t prepare enough for it. Also, a procrastinator does other things like play games (Farm Town on Facebook is my favorite) but all the while they aren’t really having fun because they are always feeling anxiety about what they need to be doing instead of playing. This describes me perfectly!
All this to say, I am who I am but apparently procrastination is a learned behavior that can be un-learned. I am making an effort to change this because my stress at times prior to an important demonstration feels like enough to kill me. One of the articles I read talked about a product called RealTime. There is a free Lite version. It tracks everything you do on your computer all day as you define in the setup. This way it will encourage me to be more productive because I know it’s tracking my moves. I don’t have to submit the results to anyone but it is certainly an eye opener. Much like a dieter that has to write down what they eat before they realize what they are doing isn’t working. You can also voluntarily block specific websites for certain times or periods. I’ll try this soon with my social networks as that is a major distraction and possibly WordPress. I love WordPress but I’m nearly addicted to it!
Wish me luck!