“Procrastination is a dance between the brain and the situation.”
– Timothy Pychyl
It felt like I was taking one of our daughters to the emergency room.
It happened Monday morning when I loaded my computer in the car and headed to PC Computers & Software. Something was wrong; the messages seem to indicate my hard drive. Unfortunately, I faced the scenario I have always hoped to avoid.
It’s the answer Carbonite gives to the simple question, “Why back up your files?”
Because bad things happen to files and computers all the time. Hard drives crash. Laptops get lost or stolen. Viruses damage or destroy files. Kids (and even adults) delete files accidentally.
If you have valuable files you can’t replace, the only real way to protect them is to back them up.
Since this post is about procrastination, I can guess what you are thinking: I purchased my back-up plan on the day after the “crash”. Wrong. In fact, I recently paid extra to upgrade to the HomePlus plan with “mirror image backup” … it takes backing up to the next level,
Backing up your operating system and software programs, as well as your files and folders, to an external hard drive. You will need an empty external hard drive to use this feature.
Great, even faster recovery if it ever happens. Pardon the back patting.
Not if, WHEN “it” Happens
Procrastination is a human condition. However, the things we put off usually are not matters of survival as it was for those of another time. Long ago, our ancestors knew if they put off planting their crops there would not be food tomorrow and starvation was likely.
Today, procrastination has a stronghold in our contemporary society. Think of all the distractions we face daily and moment by moment. When has it ever been easier to put off the important and still feel busy?
According to an article in the Scientific American 40% of people have experienced financial loss and at least 35% of us endanger our health due to procrastination. When did you have your last annual exam…have your cholesterol tested…sit with your dentist…see your optometrist? Got it?
Why do we procrastinate?
In this article, I’m writing about procrastination as it relates to feedback. Here are four reasons we may ignore feedback and put off taking action:
- Adolescent Worldview – “It won’t happen to me”
- Misguided Thinking – feedback is viewed as criticism instead of help to get “there”
- Out-of-control Lifestyle – the busy pace encourages “later” and sells the message: Later doesn’t mean “no”, just tomorrow. So we ignore the risk and the list just keeps growing
- Defense Mechanisms – instead of taking personal responsibility, we deny, rationalize or minimize “reality”, avoiding action
Why do you think we ignore feedback?
No one to blame but myself
While I have Carbonite and prudently purchased the HomePlus program, I have not bought the external hard drive required to capture the “mirror image backup”. The benefit of speedy recovery is lost and the cost to restore will be greater as a result.
Going forward, I purpose to be guided with these interrelated responses to feedback, I purpose to:
- Be attentive – listen for the feedback
- Acknowledge reality
- Accept personal responsibility
- Calendar the time and place to allow action
Full disclosure: I received “feedback” in the form of system messages regarding a “potential” hard drive issue. The purchase of the external hard drive written on my “to do” list was rolled to the next day several times.
Three days later my computer remains in intensive care as I try to run my executive coaching practice. How inexpensive that external hard drive looks today…
What about you, how do you manage the urge to procrastinate?
Please forward to a friend or colleague.
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