Verdict: Written by someone who has experienced procrastination and conquered it, THE MORE YOU DO THE BETTER YOU FEEL is a step-by-step self-help technique that can benefit those who are struggling with the problem.
A well-organized method for overcoming procrastination and the depression that often accompanies is presented in this useful guide.
Having suffered from depression that began in his teen years, and getting no relief with any of the many antidepressants he was prescribed, David Parker, who does not claim to be a trained counselor or psychologist, finally followed a friend’s example and began keeping a feelings diary. From that diary grew the realization that much of what triggered his depression was actually procrastination. His thinking on the subject gradually morphed into a method he named J.O.T., or Just One Task™.
For those in the grip of depressive feelings, it can seem impossible to do anything to affect one’s life. Parker describes some of the thought patterns common to procrastinators along with their concomitant defense mechanisms. One reason why people become procrastinators is fear—fear that if they accomplish something, more will be expected; or, just as dreadful, that they will attempt to accomplish something and fail. They often become “floaters” who channel surf, web browse, daydream, or simply sleep.
Parker’s J.O.T. technique starts just as it says, with trying to do one thing in a day. In a notebook, write the date, then list the task, such as “put DVD away.” Then immediately perform the task, refusing to yield to distractions. Then pencil through the task that has been completed. After a long history of failure to complete any task, and fear and depression about that failure, the practitioner of the J.O.T. method now has proof that something has in fact been accomplished. Another task can be added, and another, all very small, simple and unthreatening. Eventually, the former procrastination sufferer can make a long list and work through it successfully. Additional helpful “tasks” can include avoiding television viewing except for certain time periods, and not turning on the TV or computer automatically when one walks in the house. The author used this method himself, observing that life without TV (he calls it an “adult pacifier”) was more generally productive. He also learned to organize large tasks into manageable chunks (clean one quarter of the garage instead of tackling the whole job and getting discouraged when it turns out to be too overwhelming). Parker believes that the J.O.T. steps offer the procrastinator a roadmap leading to less frustration, less depression and increased self-esteem.
Written by someone who has experienced procrastination and conquered it, THE MORE YOU DO THE BETTER YOU FEEL is a step-by-step self-help technique that can benefit those who are struggling with the problem.