In Part 1 of “How to Stop Procrastination - I’m too Busy Syndrome,” I talked about using “busy-ness” as an excuse and how that can impact our stress level and general happiness. In Part 2 of “How to Stop Procrastination - I’m too Busy Syndrome,” I’ll show the difference between real and perceived busy-ness and how to tackle procrastination that comes from the “I’m too busy syndrome.”
Procrastination affects your ability to be happy. When you procrastinate, even when you are not conscious of it, you do have an underlying nagging feeling that you should be getting certain things done but you are not doing them. You might convince yourself, “I am too busy,” yet you feel guilty about not starting or doing or completing your project. This very feeling causes a conflict in your mind, which erodes happiness.
There could be two distinctly different reasons why you may not be able to start your intended project. You could really be busy, in other words you might really have appointments to keep, kids to take care of, planes to catch and all of these are absolutely essential in your life at that moment. In such a case, it is more a matter of time-management and prioritization. That will be a topic of another article.
In this article we are concentrating on the “I’m too busy syndrome,” which means that you really do not have indispensable things to do. Instead you fill up your day with unimportant and unnecessary tasks. This can be categorized as “wasting your time.” If you are someone who is suffering from the, I’m-too-busy-syndrome, then to you this will not seem like time-wasting. To you, somehow all the busywork will look like a necessary part of your life. Yet, you will feel a sense of discontent and disappointment at your self.
Here’s an example: You want to write a book, but it seems you just cannot find any time during the day or night. You simply cannot find the time - ever - to write that book. (Naturally you can replace this example with any other project, which is pertinent to your life. It can even pertain to exercising on a regular basis) Ask these questions of yourself:
- What activities are really stopping me from writing that book (doing my project)?
- Which activities are absolutely necessary and which ones can be done later so that I have time to write the book (work on my project)?
- Which activities must I do myself?
- Which ones can I delegate to others?
- Which ones can I simply ditch?
- Am I really that busy that I cannot find 10 minutes in the day to work on my project?
- If my answer is, “No, I don’t even have a minute because I am so busy,” what excuses am I coming up with to justify that answer?
- How many of those excuses are really real and which ones are just excuses?
And most importantly ask yourself
- What type of self-talk is stopping me from writing that book (working on my project)?
Remember, there are people who are really busy. It is ironic that quite often those are also the same people who are extremely productive! The secret is they know how to manage their time in a creative and productive manner.
This article is however for all those people who suffer from the, I’m-too-busy-syndrome, but at the end of the day they find themselves to have had a not-so-productive day. There is absolutely no shame if you recognize yourself to be in this category. We all have challenges and the truth is we do grow and come out stronger, when we can face our obstacles and we do something to change it and overcome it.
More thoughts, tips and action-steps on procrastination will come in later articles. Remember to get on the VIP list below, so you can be the first to get a review copy of my upcoming book, "Take Action Now: How to Stop Procrastination."
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