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Get Past Procrastination

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Yup - I admit it, I too have been known to procrastinate sometimes. It seems that the jury is out on exactly how many people suffer from this malady, but somewhere between 40% - 60% of people tend to procrastinate at various points in their lives. So it was with some excitement that a spotted the book The End of Procrastination at the OR Tambo International Airport bookstore earlier this year.

I reached out to the co-author of the book - Adela Schicker (the book is written by Adel and Petr Ludwig), and we had a great chat about the book, her consulting and training work and some quick tips to getting past procrastination. Adela is a lively and energetic person with such a deep and abiding passion for her work; her honesty is disarming and her advice and guidance so easy to integrate.

Adela's book takes a deep dive into understanding procrastination and into our motivation and desire to find order and calm in such a chaotic work. This conversation was even more relevant during the COVID-19 crisis as I certainly felt a pull to be working all the time - panic working I think it's called, and I also noticed much larger swings between times of manic work and feeling overwhelmed by all that 'needed to be done'.

Adela's book explains the feeling of being overwhelmed so well using the construct of the elephant and the rider. The elephant represents our emotions and the rider our rationality that tries to control the elephant. The vast difference in size is purposeful and represents the imbalance between our limbic (emotional) system and our rational neocortex. Our self-regulation is our ability to control the elephant. Finding harmony between the rider and the elephant is essential to reaching and fulfilling our personal vision. The key to finding that harmony is by replenishing our cognitive resources, and one of the ways to do that is through habits. The book gives some great tips and tools to develop one's habits - you can find free resources on their website - as well as ways to manage your cognitive resources (eat some fruit or drink some juice - who knew!).

The book goes on to provide a wealth of useful tools and methods to manage procrastination with a little help from other animals - look out for the hamster! You can slo complete a short online course that is twinned with the book. All the details are on the website link above.

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