Thursday, June 19, 2008

Procrastination and Making Decisions

comic-type illustration of man needing to make a decision

Mark Forster has written three books on time management and personal organization; he recently shared the following thoughts on the Do It Tomorrow Yahoo group. [quoted with permission]

You have correctly identified difficulty in making decisions as one of the characteristics of procrastination. Making decisions is a behaviour which can be learned, just like any other behaviour. You can train yourself to make big decisions by practising making small decisions.

Before you do that, a couple of principles:

1. There are no right or wrong decisions, only decisions with different consequences. You need to train yourself to stop looking for the perfect decision. Instead your attitude needs to be that you take decisions and deal with the consequences.

2. Doing nothing is a decision in itself. You need to train yourself to think that the choice is not between A and B, but between A, B and C where C is doing nothing.

Update, June 19, 2008: Mark now has his whole reply up on his own blog.

Related Post: The Importance of Making Decisions

[illustration by Richard Scott 33]

5 comments:

Angelia said...

Im a chronic procrastinator :(

then I go thru the chronic "do stuff" phase.

I think Im nuts LOL

It's true though, some days its a battle to keep on top of things and resist the urge to procrastinate. I guess thats why I kinda let the house get to how it did.

Jeri Dansky said...

Angelia, sometimes the way to break through the procrastination is to take one small step toward whatever it is you want to do - and allow yourself to stop there.

If you do stop, you've already made some progress. But often, once we begin, we decide to take the NEXT tiny step, and then one more ...

Angelia said...

I know what you mean, Jeri. Thats why I gave myself a year to reorganise and do a cupboard at a time.

but the bathrooms are done! YAY! YAY! :) Now to the next step :)

I'm proud of myself for not stopping on this, doing it week by week, a lil at a time :)

Jeri Dansky said...

Congratulations, Angelia!

Timo said...

Some decisions are easier made than others. I have noticed, that something that involves people are the most difficult ones.

For example, you have a friend who asks you to go to movies and then you have a friend who asks you to visit him/her, you have to make the decision between both of them.

What I find to be most difficult part here is that I want to please both of them, although I know that it may not be possible.