Procrastination, Business and Bipolar, Part 2

March 11, 2011 Peter Zawistowski

There is a problem with “To Do” lists, that is listing tasks that are worthwhile and productive but not necessarily what needs to be done. When judging what needs to be done, there are likely to be external forces, such as deadlines set by a supervisor. Internal forces, which affect the tasks that you have set the deadline for personal reasons or deadlines. You are the judge of what are important deadlines and the time needed to accomplish a task. Checking off many items on the list doesn't help in getting the real job done but you may feel better about those actions. Another issue with accomplishing tasks is perfection. Perfection is an obstacle not an obsession. Obstacles are something we can work around, where obsessions are a commitment to a single idea. Obsessions may take professional help to work out. One of best “To Do” ideas, is select the best time of day for the type of work needs to be accomplished. Physical work is best in the early morning, I write best in the late afternoon and phone calls are best in small increments of time, making one or two calls take a break, then more calls. If you want to schedule by best time of day, then schedule both your start time and expected finish time, and keep to the schedule. Or scheduled by the most important task now. If you need more time to complete a task, stay with the task until it is done. Use the experience gathered to understand why it took longer than your estimate to complete the task. Were you interrupted and how? Were you distracted or daydreaming? You don't have to plan out every minute of every day. It is good to understand where your time goes, what amount of time is spent in what manner and when you are going to need more od less to get your tasks done.

Taking a break between tasks is a good idea. This allows time to think about the next task before jumping into that task. It is better to “sharpen your ax” before each task than continuing with a dull tool and expecting the same result. “Sharpen your ax” is a phrase from a while ago when two wood-cutters, each had to split a cord of wood. One wood-cutter worked non-stop and even watched the other taking breaks. Still the continuously hard working wood-cutter did not finish first. When asked the second wood-cutter how he could take breaks and still finish ahead, he replied that he wasn't taking a break as much as sharpening his ax. So sharpen your ax, have an insight on your next task. Maybe you can find a quick path to solving your task. If you get stuck, stop for lunch or a snack (plan a reasonable amount of time) or take a walk inside or outside but get physical! Start with item 1 on your list, gather all the information needed, remove all roadblocks and potential interrupters; now let's get started.

APA Reference
Zawistowski, P. (2011, March 11). Procrastination, Business and Bipolar, Part 2, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 26 from

Author: Peter Zawistowski

Dr Musli Ferati
March, 26 2011 at 9:16 pm

To be honesty, hastening, far away, was been my life foolish. All along I were interested and to search the best way for getting rid of this harmful vice, which inflict losses upon my personal, social and professional career. I share my opinion with your statement "sharpen your ax" before undertaken any action or decision. indeed this is an excellent manner to overcome obstacles and bad consequences to planed activities and important engagements. Daily life embraces an overwhelming circumstance that are favorable or discordant with our personally desires and vocations. There are also many inner psychic urges that determinate the fate of our business. When it is question about interference of suggestions from others the matter become more seriously. In consequence, it should to posses a skill for procrastination, in order to overcome miscarriages in business. The same rule is worthwhile both for mentally health individual and for person with psychological difficulties.

March, 22 2011 at 3:44 am

Procrastination is my biggest bugbear. I don't seem to have the energy and motivation to complete tasks expediently and thoroughly. On a scale of 1 to 10 i feel that i am on a 4 to 5. Previously I fluctuated between 1or 2 to 9, when i was highly productive and not at all 'destructive', (for lack of a better word)in my unbiased opinion. Although i am happy with not experiencing the dreaded lows, i yearn for the rejuvenating highs.(typically human? - not content)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Peter Zawistowski
March, 22 2011 at 5:15 am

I know the feeling, I miss the highly productive cycle, but I also wonder how productive I really was? I did a lot of things, usually 2 or 3 things at once. Now I have slowed down a little and work on one or two at once. I seem to be more effective than just busy. When I am accomplishing tasks I feel better, the lows stay away. Try working at your 5 level for a while. You should see a slow change in your work output and maybe you can take on a little more. This change may take weeks or months. Just don't take on too much, anxiety and stress may return, drop your productivity level causing the lows reinforcing more anxiety. We would like our cycle to head upwards at a slow sustained rate. It is not easy but worth all of the effort.

Leave a reply