founder of naked leader
Time to Fizzle – A lot less than a damp squib
Light the Blue Touch paper
On this Guy Fawkes’ day (I love that apostrophe – this day belongs to a man who nearly blew up the British parliament!) – let’s talk about fireworks, which are very important to you achieving what you want to achieve in life.
Let’s talk procrastination, which I have always thought is a very complex word to describe the doing of nothing. You (and everyone on earth) will only ever do something for one of two reasons – to move towards “pleasure” (something that you want) or move away from “pain” (something that you don’t).
I write about pleasure week after week, and so…
There is nothing quite like placing a metaphorical rocket somewhere strategically about your person, to cause that bit of pain. If there is something you know you really must do, that you have been delaying, set yourself a consequence that is as painful as that rocket, and (this is key) if you still do nothing, follow through on the consequences.
Our Naked Leader Executive Coaching Specialist, Gavin Preston also reminded me that if you light the blue touch paper of the natural consequences of not following through, the imagination can conjure up a major explosion of consequence.
Take for example you need information from someone at work who you hate dealing with and always put off speaking to until there’s no other work to be done.
What happens if you don’t go and speak to them? – there’s a chance I won’t get that big order in What happens if I don’t get that big order in? – I will miss my target What happens if miss my target? – I won’t get my bonus and I’ll be under scrutiny for poor performance. Supposing this saga continued? – I’ll get the sack How will that affect my family? – we not be able to pay the mortgage, then we’ll have to move to a smaller house then my family and wife will hate me and my world will have exploded!
Yes go and do that small thing – It can have major consequences if you leave it and the blue touch paper is lit.
With my explosive love and best wishes to Guy Fawkes, and to you
Great idea to look at the ‘domino effect’ of not doing something. It certainly made me stop and think. (But not for too long… 🙂
Here is a Buddhist quote from 13th century sage Nichiren Daishonin that stops me procrastinating (usually!):
“Deep in the Snow Mountains lives a bird called the Kankucho bird that, tortured by the numbing cold, cries that it will build a nest in the morning. Yet when day breaks, it sleeps away the hours in the warm light of the morning sun without building its nest. So it continues to cry vainly throughout its life. The same is true of human beings.”
I sometimes have this quote in mind when listening to my clients – do they tend to settle for the ‘sugar rush’ of an immediate pleasure (watching TV instead of speaking to that person you hate…) or do they find the self-respect and courage to take action that invests in their future happiness?
Thank you for your stimulating thoughts, David H
Procrastanation is a very long word and I often do it when I have so many tasks to do.
I like to prioritiese and then just get on and do the tasks one by one.
By the end of the list there is the start of a new list.
In the end, there will always be stuff to do but you must get on and do it.
There are so many people in our office who need a rocket by the way!
Don’t let them procrastanate then. Just go and do what it is you have to do to get the staff to work harder. Simple.
I few years ago I got a book out from the library called stop procrastinating!!!
I didn’t read it because as soon as i took it home, i realised that was exactly what i was doing by getting it!!..I took it back and got on with things!
I suppose it worked though 🙂
I don’t know anybody at our workplace that doesn’t put things off.
The bigger or more difficult the task, the worse it is.
I like to get the difficult tasks out of the way first, then the smaller ones. That way the workpile doesn’t seem quite so bad.
Just get on with things. it’s the only way.
Focus, focus and more focus!
I like Jackie’s point.
Some books really do defeat the object and that sounds like one of them!
Does Guy Fawkes’ have an apostrosphe after the s? Not sure!
Putting things off is a mug’s game.
But don’t just attack the most difficult project first.
Prioritise your work.
Do the priority job first, then work your way through, no matter about hiw difficult some tasks may be.
It’s no good getting stuck into a difficult task if that is going to hold you up doing the one that needs to be done NOW.
Good point David. Why is it such a long word that describes doing nothing!!
Some words are just meant to confuse! That word is one of them.