Some people (most) would rather stick a fork in their eye than address something very difficult such as how to handle a workplace bully. Sometimes it can seem impossible and hope fades.
Here’s What Happens:
Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. It’s a mechanism for coping with anxiety associated with starting or completing a task or decision.
1. The relaxed type of procrastinators view their responsibilities negatively and avoid them by directing energy into other tasks. It is a form of denial or cover-up; therefore, typically no help is being sought. Furthermore, they are also unable to defer gratification. They avoid situations that would cause displeasure, indulging instead in more enjoyable activities.
“If you have to swallow two frogs, swallow the biggest one first!”
2. Tense-afraid procrastinators usually feel overwhelmed with pressure, unrealistic about time, uncertain about goals, and many other negative feelings. They feel a sense of malaise. Feeling that they lack the ability or focus to successfully complete a task, they tell themselves “I need to unwind and relax. It’s better to take it easy for the afternoon, and start anew later”. Their ‘relaxing’ is often temporary and ineffective, and leads to more stress as time runs out, deadlines approach and the person feels increasingly guilty and apprehensive. This behavior becomes a cycle of failure and delay, as plans and goals are put off and re-scheduled. Since they are uncertain about their goals, they often feel awkward with people who appear confident and goal-oriented, which can lead to depression. They withdraw from social life, avoiding contact even with close friends.
“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
3. Once you decide the overall task you need to complete, (address the bully), keep a log (see page 99 in Bully Free at Work) then, stop thinking about the BIG task and break it down into step-by-step smaller tasks. Becoming overwhelmed can be an denial technique.
“I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!” -Sam Levenson
4. Focus on a small component of the task that you know you can achieve. Choose either by priority or by desire. Getting one small achievement under your belt moves you in the right direction.
“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.”
5. Ask yourself, “Can I work on this task without being distracted for 1 hour?” (The answer is yes! In fact try it first for 15 minutes, then 30…). Keeping your commitment to yourself to ‘deal with this’ is another step in confidence building.
“Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.” – J. A. Spender
6. Forget about everything else other than working hard for this select period of time. Get a stopwatch or an accountability person if it will help.
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck
7. At the end of the time period, ask yourself the same question again and renew another time frame with yourself either at that moment or for a specific time later.
“We are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.” – General Omar Bradley
8. Before you end, decide the exact task you will work on first in the next time period instead of ‘waiting for the feeling to emerge’ to start working again.
“The stress people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” – David Allen
9. Once you agree with yourself, tell an accountability (and encouragement) partner. Try writing them a cheque and if you do your task, you get your cheque back!
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” – William James
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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.BullyFreeAtWork.com
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