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Procrastination

For a long time I put it off. For a long time I've wanted to post the first blog article. Interestingly enough, I've finished the second, third, and fourth posts quite a while ago. Only the first one, that first one just did not want to appear on my screen. Similar to the tax return, it was constantly on my mind. It felt like I thought about it every ten minutes and in my head I had finished both, the tax return and the blog article at least already a hundred times over the last 6 months. But zounds, it's one to twelve now..! Next week the maternity leave will be over and I'll start “working” again. I initially have made up my mind to launch the first article before I start (similar to the decision to submit the tax return on time - of course including extension and the roughly calculated 14 days where the canton needs to send a reminder - and then the 14 days delay where they kindly give you AND the few days they give you for being "late" ... Sorry Zurich). Now I am sitting here and writing. Finally. About procrastination or postponing things you are supposed to get done done. There are an incredible number of studies on the topic. Most done with students. Not surprising really that between the ages of 18 and 29 people are most likely to procrastinate. Those of us who have gone to school can well understand that students form an ideal pool of test subjects. Why study today when there is still 5 months to go before the exam? Thesis? I still have 5 weeks, that makes 35 days and if I add the nights of the last 7 days and count my working days as 16 hour days, that still adds up to 620 hours. Pleeeenty of time! In practice, however, It is not only people in their twenties who suffer from procrastination. The problem seems to be well represented in other age categories as well. It is part of our life and within a certain framework it is not burdensome but protective. But if it prevents you from achieving your goals or, in the worst case, even leads to financial or psychological problems, then a solution must be found. An important first approach is to understand your own procrastination. My tax return as an example: It's not difficult. After all, all I really need to do online is change the numbers. BUT every year I am missing some document. And then I have to laboriously run after those. Hours spent unuseful. I am confronted with my disorganization. I do nooot like that. Therefore not even open the tax program seems like a great option. Or this post: I had the expectation that the first blog article should be super duper mega great. Preferably perfect. Problem was with this expectation floating in my head, I didn't even start. Even though I somehow knew perfect wont be possible, that expectation was blocking the process. To no longer see the forest for the trees, or the expectation to reach the top of the mountain with one single jump, can be another reason. Small baby steps are often a good start to get a project going. A depressive mood can be a trigger to postpone tasks. Conversely, procrastination can also lead to anxiety, sleep problems and a depressed mood. And of course the topics we are familiar with, such as distraction from TV, social media, the dirty kitchen or the mountain of laundry - timing your tasks and writing down an actual schedule, including off time can be of help. Changing behaviour is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It is possible, but you have to train. But first of all you have to find out what you need to train and where you can and should start. And maybe you will have to change your sport altogether and devote yourself to cycling rather than jogging because you figured out, jogging is just not yours. The crucial question is always: Why am I procrastinating? What is my "gain" from it. When I know that, I can focus on the more specific problem. So now I'm going to hang up the laundry.


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