There is also the energy issue. According to management consultant Carson Tate, "lack of motivation may also signal that your scheduling is off." In other words, your supervisor is assigning assignments without considering your "energy cycles." Apparently, "complex tasks that require a lot of mental effort, like writing and analyzing information, need to be completed when your energy is high and your brain is rested."
Let's be honest here -- your brain may be pickled, but it is never rested. You're constantly facing complex tasks that require a lot of mental effort, like trying to remember the location of your desk every morning, and every evening, trying to find your car in the company parking lot. So, if your manager sees you sitting for hours in your cube, staring into space, simply explain that you are waiting for a burst of energy that will allow you to plunge into your projects with gusto. (You don't have to tell her that you've been waiting for this burst since 1973.)
If you decide to use your tendency to procrastinate to actually generate some work flow, the experts suggest that "at the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important (but really aren't) and seem to have deadlines (but really don't)." The idea here is that when you put off your top task -- saving the earth from colliding with a meteor -- you will enthusiastically get to work on some real tasks, lower down on the list, like turning on your computer or tying your shoes.
To use this technique you have to fool yourself, but you're good at that.
My suggestion for avoiding procrastination is very simple. Don't accept any assignments at all. If you have no work to do, you never have to worry about procrastination. You'll always accomplish exactly what you set out to accomplish, which is nothing. And won't you feel good about yourself then?
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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