If you are avoiding an unpleasant task, perhaps you can get
started by telling yourself "I'll quit in 5 minutes if it is really terrible."
It might not be as bad as you imagined. Recognize that putting off an
inevitable chore just generates more stress and embarrassment. If
nothing else works, take 15 to 20 minutes to do nothing! Don't fudge,
do absolutely nothing. By the end of 20 minutes, you will be so bored
and so anxious to "get on with it" that you will start working on the
difficult task immediately.
Being organized and productive in the areas that are important to
you will be rewarding, but you need more rewards. Consider these
suggestions: build into your daily schedule rest breaks or friendly
interaction, give yourself 15 minutes for exercise or relaxing or light
reading, mix pleasure with work, at the end of the day take time to
review with pride what you have done, and so on.
Chapters 4 and 11 give many more suggestions for changing
behavior and procrastination; chapters 5 and 7 offer help with fears
and anger that may be involved in avoiding certain situations.
Making the master schedule should only take a few minutes.
Changes can be added quickly. It takes a few minutes to keep a
continuously updated list of assignments and chores to be done.
Making the To-Be-Done List for each day requires careful thought and
may take 10 to 15 minutes. It is time well spent.
Since a lot of people waste time, there must be a lot of problems
managing time. First of all, many people have little experience
organizing their lives, because parents, teachers, bosses, and friends
have done it for them. They don't see the need for a schedule. Also,
many people resent any barrier that interferes with their doing
whatever they feel like doing at the moment. Thus, a schedule is seen
as stifling by some and resisted. Planning their time is too time
consuming for others.
Secondly, as discussed in chapter 4, some of us are pushed by
pressing needs--a need for love and attention, a need to avoid
responsibility and work, a need to believe the future will take care of
itself (so, I can do whatever I want to right now), a need to escape
real life by listening to music, watching TV, or reading a novel, and so
on. In some cases, a new determination to schedule your time will get
you going. In other cases, greater self-awareness (psychotherapy or
honestly looking at how you really waste your time) is needed. In still
other cases, it seems to be almost impossible to become more
controlled until some of the above mentioned basic psychological
needs have been satisfied or, more likely, until we realize we are
headed for failure, i.e. that our life isn't working out as we had hoped.