How to Put an End to Procrastination…Today!

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by Linda Gregory, BSN

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines procrastination as the “action of delaying or postponing something”. Personally, I call it the “bane of all evil”. I hate procrastinating and yet, I feel that I am the Queen of Procrastination, the ruler of all tasks postponed, the duchess of “I’ll put off doing something important until all hell breaks loose”.

Recently, I didn’t know if I wanted to take another travel assignment; I discussed my battle with homesickness in my last blogpost, How to Handle Homesickness; The Story of a First Time Travel Nurse. I extended my contract (yeah me!) only to get cancelled a week later (boohoo!). 

So I decided I’d pick up per diem work until I could figure out what I wanted. I went back and forth with Curt, my Trusted Nurse Staffing Recruiter (he’s the best as he puts up with a postmenopausal woman who is the queen of procrastination), interviewed and still turned down three contracts.

Finally, an assignment near New York City came up that sounded like a fun adventure. I’d travel, share a home, and work with another nurse, but I took a week to think through this offer. When I called my recruiter, he notified the hospital, but low and behold, I missed the opportunity, the job was just filled.

My procrastination meant I missed an opportunity to experience the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City, take a road trip to Boston, and most importantly, I missed the chance to see my youngest son more often. Yes, the Queen failed to make a decision and guess who was sad and miserable? ME.

 

 

I’m not alone in Procrastination Land, it impacts many nurses each day. The hard truth is that the person that ultimately gets hurt the most when you procrastinate is YOU! So, in order to help you and I change from being the Queen of Procrastination to the Queen of Proactivity try these ideas out soon….I mean…start doing them TODAY:

 

Make a list

Each day make a list of the top 5 tasks that need to be accomplished.As you complete each, you will feel a load of pressure of your shoulders. I mean who can’t stick to a list?

Take a moment to reflect

Figure out why or what is holding you back from making a decision. Is it fear, worried about someone else’s feelings, anxiety? Identifying the emotion will help ground you and then you can put your situation into a new perspective.

Tell a trusting companion

By telling someone what you are going to do, makes you accountable. You will be more determined to finish or at least make a decision on how to go about getting things done.

KISS It (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Major goals aren’t as complicated as they seem once you break them down into bite size tasks. I fail at this and feel that we make things much more complicated than need be.

 

Finally, reward yourself for becoming the Queen of Proactivity! Whether it is just a mental cheering session or a physical reward (massage, dinner, night at the movies), kick procrastination in the backside so that you don’t miss out on opportunities in your travel career or personal life. I would love to hear what your ideas are for being the Queen/King of Proactivity and how you dethroned Procrastination. Share them in the comments section!

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