by Jane Anderson, Columnist & Featured Contributor
IF YOU HAVE BEEN READING my book reviews for a while now or if this is your very first one, you will note that I attempt to write a survey of the book rather than a few well-crafted sentences that offer reasons why you might want to read the book. Let me tell you that in this case, the title of the book alone is compelling enough to persuade me to read it. In fact, encountering Beyond Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing Your Life on my end table every day was all the impetus I needed to start practicing the tactics found in this book. We are going to touch every chapter in this book and I’m so convinced that you will identify with the same hurdles to productivity that I experience I’m leaving the chapter titles intact.
Why We Procrastinate
Where to start? The reasons we procrastinate are as unique and varied as the people who procrastinate. There are legitimate reasons, sometimes beneficial to our task, but other times we are just dragging our feet and delay to the detriment of whatever project we’re working on. While this book is written for the frustrated, chronic procrastinator, it will be helpful to anyone who needs some help getting started or reenergized to continue a project to completion. The author, Renate Reimann, advised using this three step method to get procrastinators headed in the right direction.
- Identify the reason you procrastinate.
- Learn techniques that eliminate your procrastination.
- Implement new productive and sustainable behaviors.
For extra help and incentive, there are many “Beyond Procrastination Tricks” sprinkled throughout the book. I have found this text to be like a playbook for stuck projects. Right up front the author provides a tool she labels “This is when I get stuck”. I read the list checking more things off than I wanted to admit. As Renate says, “Being able to consciously address the hot spots is the crucial first step toward a more productive life”.
Why can’t I get things done? The reasons for procrastination are often hidden deep in our sub-conscious mind. We often underestimate the time it will take us to do a project. Believe it or not, finding this to be true often backfires and tempts us to procrastinate even more. Being in a disorganized environment can feel like chaos and be a hurdle to productivity. Creating a system of order that makes sense to you helps you stride past that hurdle and frees you to make progress. Do any of these sound familiar? Fear of failure, hating some of the tasks that are part of the project, feeling like you don’t know enough or that the environment has turned too competitive. A strong remedy for procrastination is being fully aware of the whys.
How to stay the course From the beginning, this book has been woven through with a common thread, understanding why and how we procrastinate. We need to be aware and that means using tools that reveal reasons for procrastination and how to motivate ourselves when we see procrastination as a hurdle to be circumvented. We need to go through discovery then form different responses, attitudes and habits. Reading this book won’t be the change. We need to be the change. The book provides the evidence, the insight, the ideas, the tools. Our part is to use what we’ve learned to instill new thoughts and form new habits and not give up.
We need to learn what our triggers are and what actions we can take to propel ourselves over the procrastination hurdles as we come upon them. A surprising end of the book is the hallmark of what the book represents. Remember in the beginning of this book survey I mentioned running into many “Beyond Procrastination Tricks” sprinkled throughout the book? Well, that’s true but Renate Reimann saved the best for last. Here are just two ‘tricks’ she advises in the final chapters of her book.
- Make a list of 5 accomplishments. We all have successes. Let’s celebrate them.
- Write down 5 things you are grateful for right now.
Living with an attitude of gratitude will change your life. Let’s not procrastinate on being grateful.