Sunday, 11 January 2009

Is Procrastination eating your life? Check your motivation!

I had the Very Best of intentions, a mile-long “To Do” list, a five-week research & arting trip to pack for, piles of Clutter I planned to tackle “soonest”, and a shiny new business that was slowly sliding into obscurity, but there I was, hiding from it all with the covers pulled over my head.

Can you say “Procrastination”? Caught out, I felt profoundly guilty.

Deciding [after 50-some years] to tackle this monster head-on, I went to the internet for help. Typing procrastination into Google, I watched in dismay as it produced 4,650,000 hits. There are websites that promise to Cure it, Stop it, Overcome it, Manage it, Study it, Research it, Make War on it, take a Quiz to see if I Have it, distinguish the Good procrastination from the Bad, discover Why I have it, Prime Myself for “concrete thinking” — even learn a Mathematical Equation for it!

Gaaah! This was clearly no place for DIY; I decided to take my moral bankruptcy to a professional.

Imagine my surprise at being told that solving procrastination is Way Easy! Caused by insufficient motivation to produce the desired behaviour, one need only discover sufficient motivation!

Well, d’oh! That wasn’t very motivating.

It was mid-November, the business I had created to fill the income-gap from reducing my hours at my day-job should be busy filling Christmas orders, but I couldn’t seem to get new items loaded to my shop or do the mandatory marketing! Whenever I so much as thought about doing it, I felt as if I were pushing against the well-known “immoveable object”! What was up with that?

It wasn’t difficult to find the obstacle: I had run into a glitch when my host changed its software for uploading images, and a flurry of emails to customer service failed to resolve the problem. The pictures of my jewellery meant to lure customers were showing up as thumbnails and couldn’t be seen without a magnifying glass!

It took Two exhausting Weeks of clicking every single button on every single page of the application to find the problem, and when at last it was fixed, I couldn’t stir up the energy to load new items. For even when the application was running well, it took me ten or more minutes to input the information for each item, and too often the app would time-out, losing ALL the data I had input!

No wonder I was procrastinating! My motivation to avoid annoyance and frustration was Greater than my motivation to get new pieces up on the site!

The professional and I considered my motivation to earn income from the site and concluded that it was insufficient to balance my annoyance-avoidance. However, a little more investigation showed I was Highly motivated to keep my day-job limited to half-time but might not be able to do this unless I received income from the site.

Well that was easy! End of website procrastination. As for the rest, well…when you’re not motivated, you’re just not motivated!

I wonder if any of those 4 million websites tell you this.

(image courtesy of Wordle)


kiwicarole said...

hahaha, great post Nona! I think you're procrastinating! hahaha
Carole ;)

Nona Parry said...

That's Harsh -- Merely taking a breather ;-)

Vickie said...

Nice article! "Procrastination" is a lot like "lazy". The names doesn't tell you a whole lot until you look at what else is happening. They aren't character flaws either! There's always a good reason why we do the things we do.

Vickie said...

....the names don't!

jackie said...

I am so into procrastination! Enjoyed the article! Glad I found your site via OWOH!

Laume said...

I haven't figured out how to cure myself of the procrastination bug (or is it a procrastination gene?) but the only thing that works for me is to force myself to do one small bit of the whole - whether it's five minutes of cleaning the kitchen or putting away just ten items in my studio or telling myself I'll walk to the end of the block and then I can return home. 99.9% of the time, once I get started, it's easy to keep going. And if not, I'm at least a teensy bit better off than when I started.