Let’s have some fun with an age-old problem that plagues us all. Procrastination!
Procrastination is a thing that we all do from time to time. It's rarely because you're lazy. Identifying WHY you procrastinate certain tasks is the key to overcoming it; Is it time-consuming, and you don't have the energy for it? Is it that glimmer of hope that someone else may take care of it? Maybe you're unsure how to do it or the best way to approach it?
In this episode, we volley back and forth many reasons people use as excuses for procrastinating to help get at the root of why. We then explore several ways to say "no" when asked to do something. Saying "no" to people is no easy task, but you can overcome the fear of disappointing others with the right delivery.
Why link the two? Because procrastination is terrible enough, but if you don’t know how to say no, then you end up adding to that darn list of things you don’t want to do anyway!
So join us today for this fun adventure into a topic that plagues the masses. But please, don’t put it off! Listen NOW, so you don’t forget!
Episode 54 Procrastination
Welcome to morning coffee and mimosas. I'm Cristina. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime. We banter about life, about business, and we do it over coffee and mimosas.
Good morning to you.
What's up. Daddy-O
Not much, same old stuff.
Same old stuff. Yeah. The recording was recording a podcast.
Nice breakfast. Doing a job. Exactly. One thing after another, but uh, no. So, what do we have on the plate today?
What do we have on the plate? Do you mean right now? There is nothing on the scale.
Previously was something on the plate. There you go. Has it since been consumed? Um, salesman, a lot on the scale, I think. Um, you know, dad is you, and I have been thinking about what we've wanted to talk about lately and, and listeners, we talk a lot about things that are timely based on maybe stuff we're going through.
Um, things that we've found valuable in the past. And right now, last week, we talked about how to prioritize, and we shared the Eisenhower matrix, dad, that you were so passionate about. Dwight D Eisenhower. And an outstanding, excellent, fantastic contribution has been constructive as I've been looking at chunking out what I have to do.
And I'm sure it helped you this week. Absolutely. I will tell you every time that we do a podcast episode, I feel like it's a reinforcement for me and something that like from week to week, I take things in, I don't know about you, but I certainly, yeah. I certainly benefit from it.
Well, and I don't, I don't mean to interrupt your, you know, segue into this episode, but listeners honestly, Christina.
And I, we, we think this podcast is valuable, for all of us, because I know that I'm better during the week. After all, I'm like, oh wait, that topic was excellent. Yeah. I need to remember that. And the whole thing is we go along every day, and there are so many stresses and distractions and everything else.
But to come back and, you know, talk about it, how to prioritize or how to do r how to appreciate something when we did the resilience series. It brings it up. And what I love about a podcast is that you can go back to it doesn't cost you anything; go back and listen to an old episode.
So that's great. So go ahead. I'm sorry,
Christina. No, no, it's, it's so true. It's like none of this. And that's where we say like, none of this is probably; you're probably not tuning in and going, oh my God. I had never thought about anything like that before. Maybe you are, but it's reinforcement. And I just thin feels, it's, it's perfect.
And that's why I listened to a lot of. Because just hearing things and spending the weekend, even if it's, you know, our first hour of our Saturday or Sunday morning where we're talking about something productive and thinking a little bit more strategically or critically about the way we approach our week, it a hundred percent helps me.
So yes, the Eisenhower matrix. I used it this week. I drew the boxes at different times when I felt like it. You know, a lot going on and things that I needed to like, okay, what do I have to focus on first? And how do I make sure I'm getting the things I need to get done?
Um, it 100% helps me. So hopeful, I tt helped, uh, listeners, that helped you too. But as we continue down that path, because I think there is so much going on right now, there's much much much distraction in the world. Um, you know, a lot, a lot of much much heavy stuff that you know, that, as people, it's straightforward to get distracted and fito finding it harder and harder.
Just do the things we need to do every day to be successful and keep all of our priorities and focus. So, we thought today we would talk about how do we overcome as people as professionals, human beings? How do we overcome procrastination? There you go. I'm done because I don't know about you.
I don't think it's ever a matter of lazy laziness. Um, maybe for me, it is, but sometimes you find their specific tasks, certain things that it's just tough just to sit down and do. And you see any reason to do something else instead? So listen. I don't know if this is speaking to you, but procrastination, I think there's a procrastination nation out there of people that struggle and overcome procrastination every single day.
And it's not to say you're procrastinating taking a nap. You're probably procrastinating doing other work or doing other productive things. The
Nap never seems to be like, I always have time for that.
But I mean, I, and I applaud if you have much much extra time and you're somebody that has time to relax, who has time to relax and just chill out. I applaud you. Um, but I think maybe eliminating procrastination could be a way for others of us that, you know, are, are always looking to find more.
to be able to have some tools to think about why do we procrastinate and how do we maybe, overcome
That? I even sent you that little blurb that said that when I saw it. I posted on Facebook and said, I've been putting off something for six months. And I finally sat down, to dit and I finished it in 15 minutes.
And then he, he wrote, sadly, I don't think this will ever change,
but it's so true. I mean,90% of the time, that thing that you put off, the thing that maybe you procrastinated doing, the something that causes you, anxiety that you're waking up in the middle of the night, like, oh shit. That thing, right. 90% of the time, it could be done in 30 minutes.
Absolutely. Absolutely. and that's why, so I wanna, I want to go through a couple of things. We kind of made a little list, and this is just fine. This is not, you know, scientific or whatever, but why, what are the top procrastinate? Right Christina, what are the top reasons for procrastination?
Yeah. And it's so important because if you can identify why you're procrastinating, maybe we can figure out how we get around it. Exactly.
YouDo you know? So a couple of them it's unpleasant, you know, whatever we have to do is unpleasant. I kind of want to vacuum, or I don't want to, you know, rake the leaves or, you know,
it's an unpleasant conversation.
You're just not menexcitedped up for entirely.
Yet. Um, it's not due yet. That's my big one. Well, you didn't want it until Thursday. I don't know what your problem is, but you know, well,
To that same point, don't you find that sometimes you work better under pressure. So if it's not, if it's not due yet, and by yet owing, you might've put your deadline to it.
But if you know that it's not like really. Sometimes the pressure is what, even mentally, you tell yourself, like, well, I work better under pressure, so yeah, maybe I'm not mentally ready to be creative.
I was working under pressure. I'm cursing myself out for being under pressure with the Um; I don't feel like doing it now.
That's another top procrastinator.
And I'll just say the one thing like we're throwing out the wise. I work better under pressure because I think a lot of us do, or we work well under pressure, and you need t because so many of us are kind of working in pressure cooker situations every day.
But I think the problem, the problem with working well under pressure is that you can work well under pressure, but the second that something else, like you, go back to that Eisenhower matrix, where it',s is essential? Is it urgent, rig?t? But the second something else comes in that has a higher degree of urgency or importance, all of a sudden that thing that is due that you were going to work well under pressure for. Suddenly, your time was hijacked for something else that you needed to take to take it. And now you're screwed.
Because that thing still has to be done, you would put time into what had to get done. It's
Still there. You were already under pressure for that thing, but now all of a sudden, there's something else that's more urgent or more important,
but both still have to be done.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that causes me to have a headache. And then I procrastinated because I had a headache, and I didn't work well when I had a headache.
Well, and I think that's, And that's a lot of, there are so many different elements and so many different variables that go into whether or not we're in like the prime position to do a task.
How do you feel? Are you inspired? Are you motivated? Did you wake up and, you know, have this energy, or are you groggy? Like so there arere's so many excuses we can make for ourselves. If we let us, it's true.
But you know, you bring up a good point, you know, like when you procrastinate and then you, you say, okay, I work well under pressure and it's due Thursday, you know?
So today's Sunday, right? So it's due Thursday. So you kind of put it over. To Wednesday, but you didn't factor in that you woke up with a sore throat and a headache, and you know what I'm saying? Or you didn't factor in that you slipped on the ice and hurt your knee. You, you know what I'm saying?
Like you don't factor in, oh, I didn't factor in, I wouldn't, I'm not capable of doing it now. I don't feel well. Exactly. I had another one is, you know, I always think that there's going to be too much stuff around it. Like whatever it has to be done, it's not the task, but, I mean, I have to research this, so I need further study on that.
And I got to look at this. I just don't have the energy to do all that now. So I'm going to put it off.
You don't have, right. You don't have the time for the complete entire whole entireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere whole task. So you put it off. I think that's the other thing. The problem is that sometimes. You have the job. It could probably take you five minutes if you just did it right now, but you have something else that might be important or something else that you might want to do more in the moment or something you were already doing.
So I have found that as I've gotten older. Unfortunately, I used to have like a steel trap in my brain. I felt I feel like. I could remember everything, right? Whether on a list or not, my mental list was freaking rock solid. Cool. My mental list is not rois not rocked more. My ma, I mean, I wish it worked cause it; I would feel a little better if I was your age when my mental list started to unravel a bit.
But if I don't at the moment, markdown and add it to the things I need to do. , it can be something that is forgotten. So, even making sure that you're not procrastinating, putting it in its spot on that matrix of, is something that has to get done and what ha.
Ohh, that's good, that's a perfect pa perfection.
You hit on something good delicious food delicious. Cause that's, that is one thing that I, y know, I joke and I've said this, another emphasis. If I don't get to something, it's not because I didn't knowthinkknow think I think I had to do it. It's because I didn't do it. Okay. But I know I have to do it because I ly dedicated and diligent in recording it.
You know, putting it down, and that's a perfect point. You said, get it out of your head and onto something, you know, I use the system.
Yes. Well, and onto something that is not your,y our scratchpad of notes you've been taking, because I don't know about anybody else, but I've had it happen where, you know, you're going from call to call.
You get a call from somebody with something they oh, okay. Yeah. I can get you that by the end of the week or whatever. And then you get another call and all of a sudden. Not down on paper, you've; you've moved on to something else. And it's like, wait a second. What was that thing? What did I say that I was going to do?
I've even procrastinated on, on procrastination. Like, so
moreMoremoremore more than debt. How exactly do you do that? Well, Wasn'tsn't, no, I was things that I decided I would not do. So I'm going to, I'm going just to make makemakeMakemake that I don't forget and write down, but then, um, I procrastinate on writing it.
To not forget it. And then I forget the whole thing. So I
The other, the other, uh, so I guess linked to that is even though the related to what you're like, I'm too confused, but I'll do it as soon as I finished some other tasks like I'm going to get to it, but, let me do this first, you know, and it's usually what I'm going to do. It's usually some meaningless thing, you know, like,
Going back to your matrix, you're suddenly pulling something from unimportant, not urgent, just because it's more pleasant than doing the task.
We, ll well, and, to that point, sometimes, I don't know if this will make sense, but sometimes I just need the satisfaction of crossing five things off the list.
So. It's not the necessary items that I have to do that I should be doing, but I figured, you know what? I don't have much energy right now. And I'm going to knock off these five things at the bottom of the list, which is on the part of the list that does not need to be done.
I can get another factor in procrastination that again is sometimes, somewhat, uh, an external contributing factor.
How many times have you? I said, I have five minutes, you sit down to do something, and all of a sudden you get locked out of a system or your computer freezes up, and then it's like, it goes out, or what you know you've spent 10 minutes trying to like, and then it's like, Ugh, whatever. Then you like alike want, I like ana like that later.
And then you're there you are. There are so many reasons that it happens. I know,
we could go on forever with this, which is what and
ListeListeListeListeListeListeListeListenerink that what's, so that's, what's so challenging is that there are so many reasons, there are so many like excuses contributing factors.
Every reason why you can't get to something. Right. So maybe we should transition to, cause I know, I know people aren't tuning in here to just here. We just taught you guys 20 new excuses.
Because. I mean, if I'm going to procrastinate, I'm going to say, I learned how to procrastinate from morning coffee and
Mimosas. You have said before, dad, maybe if I procrastinate on something, it'll take care of itself. And I won't have to do it at all. I believe that is a Joe Graziano quote.
If I am not what happened,
I had put stuff off, and then I magically found out that somebody else did it or wasn't needed. It's brilliant. It's
Fantastic. And that does sometimes happen from time to timeoccasionallytime occasionally, like, Um, positive reinforcement for negative behavior.
I'm not encouraging you to do that,
but I mean, it sometimes happens, but I guess if you procrastinate on something, it's probably a good best friendnecessaryimportant to check back in on your Eisenhower matrix to sayysay? Is it important? Is it urgent, and make sure that it still is before you complete Cedric? That's
Correct. But you know, the other piece to this that I think we want to go over is, you're a good persona, and that you're a good persona, an, and you and a lovely person want to be helpful.
And I know that I tend to want to help, but we have to learn to say o, and speaking no is very difficult for some people; others have no problem saying no. So let's go through some ways that we can say no because I think one of the reasons people don't say no is they don't know how to.
Okay. Sound stupid, stupid pig, stupid pig. But,
and hopefully, like all,l of this is starting to come together where you go. Okay. As I think about this, part of overcoming procrastination is having a good prioritization ofprioritizingof of, prioritizingprioritizingprioritizing prioritizing what's essential, you know, the level of importance and the story of urgency.
And is it something that you or I, right.? That you have to complete correctly? Then it becomes. So like, once you've done that, and once you understand why, you're procrastinating on those tasks that are a priority and do have to get done at some point. Then you start to say, okay, I have X amount of time in the da,y and how do I make the most of it?
And how do I say no to your perfect point? It's not easy to say no it's much easier, especially when you're a people pleaser and somebody that feed off being being being helpful and a problem solver andis needed. How do you say no? Looking at the things on your to-do list, your priorities, what are the things you can say no by delegation and push to somebody else, right?
Right. Or how do you say no, ultimately, so how do we discern and make sure that we're prepared to politely decline without somebody just saying, wow, Joe, you know, he's a pain in the ass, and he doesn't want to do anything.
Helping. Yeah. And that's the reason why we don't say no. The first part of saying no is the first one; I'll just, I want to knock off the list. Just say no, I'm just kidding. So, but that is true. Just say no, um,
very well for drugs as well in a business setting. Yes.
Yes. But you know, just you're saying it nicely or whatever, but just say no, but people need, and I need a rationale around it.
So, for instance, you could just say, I have a lot going on a. standard I don't want to give it partial attendance, uh, partial, you know, attention to it.
Because I don't want to do a half-ass job, I don't want to be mediocre. And I have so much going on. I don't know that I could pay attention to it the way I should. So that's one way of saying no, throwing it back on yourself. You know another one is, ou bay I can't do it.
But I may be able to do it in the future what's. What's the timeframe for this, you know, so basically, you're kind of kicking it down the road, but you're not committing
You're being clear about your procrastination on it. You're being transparent. And I think that's good too, because sometimes we've in a moment, especially like that's good too. After all, After all, sometimes we've in a moment, especially when you're in a flow.
YYouyouyou you you you you are accomplishing a lot. And I think that sometimes when you're performing, believe you are always accomplishingachieve achieving that much. So you start to make commitments and commit to things, thinking-feeling like, oh, thWhatlwhat.
What are you doing?
Is that a technical difficulty? Or was that like the jeopardy music? Did you just want me to, you just want me to shut up?
Did he come up? He came up, and I went to mute my microphone and hit the wrong button.
All right. We're back. Sorry about that.
Sometimes, when you're in a flow state, I think you see yourself as having superpowers. You suddenly think, believe that that's just how you're going to be able to accomplish. That you take on. , so I think part of it is really like being honest with yourself and trying not to over-commit, don't fool yourself either.
Give yourself more time than you need with some of these things. Because I sometimes find like, yeah, I think, you know, I'm going to knock all this out, a then I'll get you that tomorrow. Right? Tomorrow is here before you blink your eyes, and it's tomorrow, right? Yup.
So that's part of it, I think is, uh, you know, just being honest with yourself, about how much time some things going too, uh, you know, just being honest with yourself, about how much time some things are going to, uh, you know, just being honest with yourself, about something time some things take. And don't commit to something based on your best case scenario; commit; commit to them based on your worst.
I like that. I'm going to write that down. That's a good one. And also, you can say I can't do it right now because some things have come up that need me. You know, you don't have to tell him, you don't have to tell people what, what the heck that is,
I think another way you can do this is by complimenting, maybe, your requester.
You know, because especially like I think having a team and having people that require things from you, you have to also think about, well, am I going to be more helped by doing this? Or am I going to be more helpful to do it themselves? So part of it would be, you know, it may be saying, no, maybe.
This is something that you with. Why don't you take a first crack at it?
That's a good good good perfect, perfect point because some people lean on you. Still, they could just as easily quickly be doing ongoing because people count on you, but they could just as quickly do it themselves.
Yeah. And once you get people leaning on you for everything, then. That's ubiquitous piles on top of you now.
Know, that's very, very common. That's very good because you know what overshadowing, all of this is, think about where the requests are coming from. Suppose you're finding that you're having trouble saying no. Is it coming from a consistent source, somebody that keeps asking you for favors or things, right?
? that's a great point. That's very good. Excellent, Christina. That was a good one. I like. I'm taking two notes on that. Yeah. I'm making notes on that. another way to say this is that you're, you know, you know what, um, I'm not the best qualified for that, you know, for the job,
yeah. I like that admitting your strengths is right.
It is admitting where you might have some weaknesses. I think that's fair. Yeah.
I mean, I have so few, but you know, there are some, I'm just kidding.
What about, like, I think this is something you have to think about. Sometimes there are things going things are going on that. Even non-work-related or maybe work-related is like thinking of a balance between your personal life and your work life. Sometimes it's also being honest about what you have going on in your world. Because you may not be able to commit to taking on another project because you have, you know, as a sick spouse at home or you have, you know, like there's, there are things that I think that you know, or a child that's homesick or like part of that is essential because at those different stages, when you have things going on, you're going to have more or less of your kind of flex time and mental energy that you're going to be able to like, to really.
100% put towards different tasks.
Perfect ideal point. You're right. You're right. Because there is the personal and the business side to this, you know? Very good.
And then I would just say so as we're kind of wrapping this up and one other point,
oh, good ones. Keep coming.
So one other point.
You don't have to like declining doesn't mean that it's not; you're not helping. So you not doing something might be setting somebody up with a person best suited for the job. So you mentioned that you may not, maybe it's not your strong suit, or perhaps it's not something that you know you're particularly good at.
Hey, you know, maybe you should try and talk to this person. They just went through a similar project. It could be a teammate. They can help talk you through how to get this done best. So you're very rarely saying no, you're very, you're more often saying I'd love to help. Have you thought of this?
That's great. That's the third one I'll write down.
I think this is a good time. This is a good topic, and, um, people have a hard time disappointing other people, so it's true.
It's true. Anyway. And when you consider, and that's why, I'm glad we did this after, if they're talking about the Eisenhower matrix and priorities, because I will bet.
And listeners, let us know if I'm wrong, but I would bet that getting things done prioritizing meeting deadlines is probably one of the most significant stresses that people have in, in, in. Situation. I don't mean passing tests at school or trying to get a promotion, you know, there's more significant, bigger fish in the sea, but on an everyday basis, I think this is something I struggle with.
Many people do. So I hope, you know, I'm hoping that this is a sick
The cool thing about it is, is it something we can all control? There are so many things you can handle. You can prevent this.
And the more that we all get better at finding ways to use our time, prioritize what we have to do, and figure out. Why is that task so complicated, challenging, complex, and brutal for me to accomplish, correct? Like, or why haven't I done that? The more we can figure out why we sometimes procrastinate, the more we can prevent ourselves from like that awful act of like, just feeling like, you know, feeling crappy about yourself or wholly overwhelmed because you don't know where to start.
So, you know, we've talked about it a lot, but so much of. So much of overcoming procrastination is just rationalizing why and then recognizing that yes, you are procrastinating and understanding, changing the behavior. Yeah. And then just starting to take action. We've talked about taking actioning things on paper.
So, you know, like what are the things that have to like th the one thing I want to do when there's a task that I keep procrastinating on. I'll take it, and I'll start like just jotting down what has to happen for it to be accomplished because within every item on your to-do list,t there are often, you know, five different sub-items that have to happen for it to be something that you can actually.
So sometimes just breaking it down and like taking that task and truly looking at, what are the five mini-tasks that have to happen for that to be. Sometimes that just helps. Yeah, that's
Great. And then you even realize, you know what, I can knock off three of these I'm on my way. And I have to do some research on the fourth one, but then if that this one, we're home free if that is done.
YouDo you know what I mean? Because you didn't look at it as a giant Boulder. You said, how can I break this apart? Very good. Very good. So don't be like —the Presidentsident of the American procrastinators club. We haven't had a meeting yet, because I haven't gotten around to scheduling it.
Um, maybe this could be considered the first meeting.
First one. There you go. Dad. We've checked one item off the list. But man, all that I will say like just a little word of inspiration for all of us as we conquer and hopefully have a kick-ass week ahead are tiny victories celebrating the small successes. And I think that goes a long way to helping and avoiding procrastination.
Well, thanks, dad.
Wherever you are, whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Go and make a difference in yourself.
I think you did an excellent job. I did get out of it. Thank you.
Thank you. I did too, dad. I was procrastinating. Jotting it down a little bit but finally got around to it.
Thank you, listeners. Have a great day everybody.