“No one sets out to be a habitual procrastinator — instead, we develop procrastination as a means of coping with life’s obligations. It might not be the best way of dealing with things, but for better or worse, it allows us to continue functioning…. Changing from life as a habitual procrastinator — into a ‘do’-er takes time, practice, and above all else, the willingness to stick with the process.”
David Parker, The More You Do, The Better You Feel
“The land of procrastination:” We’ve all been there at some point. And we all know the feelings of anxiety and self-defeat it creates As David Parker says so well in his action-oriented, groundbreaking book, The More You Do, The Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life, it’s often a place of “unrealistic expectations, broken self-promises, and frustration.” And for some, even depression. The word’s meaning says it all: “To put off till another day or time, or from day to day; defer; delay…until an opportunity is lost.”
Most of us are probably casual rather than chronic procrastinators. But wherever we are on the spectrum of delayers vs. “do”-ers, we’ve had some experience with its results — or lack of them. Recently, I’ve had my own bout of procrastination on the writing front: I’ve been struggling with a tough phase of revision to my children’s novel. In response, I’ve drifted into “delay” mode: reading, puttering, ignoring, instead of putting “butt in the chair” and writing. That’s why I was so relieved when David’s book caught my eye. His how-to guide is based on personal experience and is divided into two clear, compelling sections: “Understanding Procrastination,” and “Into Action.”
Whether procrastination is a major or a minor problem for you, The More You Do, The Better You Feel, offers a goldmine of insights about how and why we immobilize ourselves through delay and distraction. Section II of the book, “Into Action” offers the antidote. One chapter offers “golden rules” for defeating chronic delay, which range from “always keep the promises you make with yourself,” and “try not to compare and despair,” to “avoid being a perfectionist.”
The heart of the book is a simple, easy-to-apply technique designed to transform procrastinators into “doers” — “The J.O.T. Method,” which stands for “just one task.” With practice, it can train you to focus and screen out distractions, so you can take action, increase productivity, and get results. Patiently and consistently applied, it works for everyday tasks, but it can also be adapted to writing. By breaking down even complex tasks into their basic components, it makes taking action easier and more inviting.
Procrastination as a habitual way of coping isn’t easy to overcome, but it can be done. If it’s preventing you from doing the work you want to do and seducing you into inaction through distraction, then you’ll want to check out The More You Do, The Better You Feel. To find out more, visit: http://www.DavidParkerAuthor.com — and write on!