Why Wait?

Today, September 6, is World Fight Procrastination Day. I can think of no better day to announce my upcoming workshop, “Get the Better of Your Procrastination,” which I’m offering Saturday, afternoon, Oct. 8 and Tuesday evening, Oct. 11.

Procrastination, according to Dictionary.com, is “the act of postponing or delaying something.” As an English literature major, I became quite expert (tongue firmly in cheek) at procrastinating writing papers. I’d leave myself a scant amount of time, so little that I would often stay up clacking on my Smith-Corona electric typewriter throughout the night. The results often were less than impressive.

What, then, is the payoff to waiting until the eleventh hour? If you postpone starting a project, you don’t know what you might have produced had you given the task your very best (or at least something approximating it). Delaying, then, is a twisted form of self-protectionism.

Conversely, the cost of procrastination can be steep. You put off the task at hand, then judge yourself for doing so. Maybe you’ll attempt to dig yourself out of the hole by contemplating beginning the task but then procrastinate until the mood strikes. Derek Thompson called this cycle of anxiety, guilt, and shame (wow, trifecta!), “the procrastination doom loop.”

Want to find out how to break out of the procrastination doom loop and to cultivate productive work habits? Then sign up for “Get the Better of Your Procrastination” on Saturday, Oct. 8, 1 to 3 p.m. or Tuesday, Oct. 11. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both workshops will be held at 1301 California St., #D (upstairs), in Berkeley (across from Monterey Market).

 

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