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Last week, while researching 13 Unique Hacks from Persephone, I went to one of my favorite resources — lifehack.org. The site was created by Leon Ho in 2005, and his focus is mainly on personal productivity hacks that will help you live a better and more organized life. Although I didn’t use any of the life hacks on the site for my post, I did come across an article that Ho wrote in July. The subject was on procrastination and I thought that it would make a great topic for this blog.
We all procrastinate at times — some more than others. Through a micro-view lens, procrastination can deter us from getting tasks completed, which can be bothersome, but in and of itself, not a major dilemma. However, through a macro-view lens, chronic procrastination can hinder us from pursuing and reaching our big goals and dreams.
I, for one, can attest to the scourge of occasional procrastination. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a very good “work from home” person — which, given the fact that I’m a sole proprietor of a business is a bit of an oxymoron. The apartment where I live is quite comfortable and conducive to getting work done. It’s rather quiet in the day and has a few places that I can park myself and get down to business. But it’s also full of distractions.
When I’m doing something that requires serious concentration, like research or trying to get a difficult task done on a deadline, I find images of a not-so-pristine bathroom or some prep work on a meal that I’m making that evening or a small home project that I’ve been putting off dancing in my head like iconic sugar plums. Of course, these are projects that need my immediate attention, or so I convince myself, and I end up getting way off deadline.
I’ve solved this dilemma by finding places to work away from the apartment — coffee shops, public atriums with Wi-Fi, shared workspaces, and libraries — my favorite is the grand old 5th Avenue Library with its opulent reading room. I find it helps with my procrastination.
And this is where the article I mentioned above comes in. Although Ho’s article covers research about procrastination and the fact that social media is a huge contributor to it (shocker!), the part of his article that I found fascinating is his categorization of types of procrastinators and that’s what I wanted to bring to you today.
The 5 Procrastination Personalities
By Leon Ho
“Our instinct to navigate to instant pleasure first has led to five distinct ‘procrastinator personalities.’ Let’s take a look at each of these personalities — and see if you can identify yourself in the process.
Being perfect is the pleasure perfectionists want. But often this leads to them being too scared to show any imperfections. Because of this, they frequently fail to complete things, as they’re forever seeking the perfect timing or approach. Tasks end up never being completed because, in the eyes of the perfectionist, things are never perfect enough.
You’ve no doubt encountered these types (and you may even be one of them) in your day-to-day life. In the office, perfectionists can be found staring intently at their screens, as they continually make minor changes to their spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. Instead of finishing something, they get caught up in a never-ending cycle of additions, edits, and deletions. Someone needs to tell them that perfection is rarely realized.
Dreaming is fun when compared to real life — which involves lots of challenges and difficulties. It’s no wonder that a dreamer prefers to stay in the dreaming stage. That way, they don’t have to work for real or deal with any negativity or stress.
Dreaming gives this type of people a false sense of achievement, as in their minds, they envision big, ambitious plans. Unfortunately for them, these plans will most likely stay as dreams, and they’ll never accomplish anything truly worthwhile.
You probably know someone like this. Every time you meet them, they tell you of their grandiose ideas and goals, but not once do they state what they’re doing to bring these dreams into reality. After years of hearing their stories, you come to a valid conclusion: they’re just dreamers.
Avoiders have bought into the line that ‘by doing nothing, bad things won’t happen.’
In reality, avoiders have developed a fear of making mistakes or doing anything wrong. Their way to avoid these mishaps is to do nothing at all. In the end, they may make few mistakes — but they also see few accomplishments.
In the workplace, avoiders are easy to spot. They seldom speak, preferring to keep themselves to themselves. They also lack proactivity, instead, they favor the motto: ‘I’ll just do the bare minimum.’ They may regard themselves as solid and reliable workers, but in reality, they lack drive, ambition, and the spark of life.
Crisis-makers are those who believe that deadlines can push them to do better. Instead of having a schedule to complete their work — they prefer to enjoy time doing their own thing before the deadline comes around.
It’s most likely an unconscious thing, but crisis-makers evidently believe that starting early will sacrifice their time for pleasure. This is reinforced in their minds and feelings, by the many times they manage to get away with burning the midnight oil. Often they sacrifice the quality of their work because of rushing it.
The Busy Procrastinator
A busy procrastinator is certainly busy – but they lack the ability to prioritize their work. They do what they feel like they should do, rather than thinking through what they really need to do.
Prioritizing tasks is a step that takes extra time, so a busy procrastinator will feel it’s not worth it. In these cases, they delay doing what’s really important, because they don’t actually recognize it as being important. Because of this, they usually end up doing a lot of effortless tasks that don’t contribute much to a project.
I come across busy procrastinators all the time. They look super busy, but their output and results reveal their lack of organizational skills. They’re incessantly busy on low-impact tasks, but seem oblivious to urgent, high-impact tasks. It’s the equivalent to a thirsty cat licking the outside of a bowl filled with milk — its efforts are focused on the wrong place!
Understand It to Beat It
Everyone has a different reason to procrastinate, but every reason points to our prime to feel first. By understanding how your emotions make procrastination happen, you can figure out the exact action to turn around the negativity.”
Do you recognize yourself in any of these archetypes? I certainly do, a combination of a few of them, in fact. But I also have tools to notice when I’m procrastinating too much and can usually get back on track. As Ho writes, “Don’t let procrastination steal your life. Be active, be confident, and become a person of accomplishment.”
Cooking for Joan
I must confess that I love shrimp cocktail, especially with traditional cocktail sauce — you can keep your mignonettes and pesto sauces, thank you. Not that those sauces are bad, per se, but there are times when traditional is the way to go.
When I travel for work and I’m either checking in late or worked all day and just want to chill in my hotel room, my “go-to” room service meal is always the same — French onion soup and shrimp cocktail with a glass of chilled white wine. I find the combination to be so comforting. The warm broth with the thick layer of creamy cheese, followed by the chilled seafood with its tangy and spicy sauce is divine.
When I’m making the shrimp, I like to add a flavor boost by boiling it with Old Bay, lemon, and onion. The spice is subtle but it is noticeable. By keeping the shell on, you get a much more flavorful shrimp. I also like to boil it less than most — I’d rather it be slightly underdone than overdone and rubbery — yuck!
It’s a perfect appetizer because it’s so easy to make and is always a huge hit — unless you have a shellfish allergy guest, than maybe not. In any event, give it a try at your next gathering!
Chilled Shrimp with Tangy Cocktail Sauce
Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 1.5 min | Makes: 8 | Difficulty: Easy
- 2 pounds large shrimp, deveined and unpeeled
- 3 quarts water
- 3/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 lemons, halved
- Tray of ice in a large bowl of water
For the cocktail sauce:
- 1 cup Ketchup
- 4 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Combine water, Old Bay, onion, and lemons in a large pot over high heat
Bring to a boil
Add shrimp to pot; cook 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 minutes
Submerge shrimp in the ice bath immediately
For the cocktail sauce:
Combine ingredients in a bowl
**image courtesy of Mipan/iStock