You’ve heard of “Senioritis,” that malady that afflicts 12th graders that are on the threshold of leaving high school. According to most reports, these sufferers express their impatience by ditching classes, underachieving in their last two semesters, and by generally blowing-off various forms of civility.
But there are other kids that are less conspicuous. They’re the opposite. You might call them “Seniorphiliacs.” They love their alma mater and they’re not at all ready to cut their ties to high school to meet the challenges of college or the workplace or having serious interpersonal relationships.
And while they might seem to be model citizens, volunteering for a ton of activities at the end of their scholastic tether, they’re really starting a potentially destructive pattern.
They’re hangers-on, and they simply won’t let go of a good thing, despite the fact that its demise is imminent.
The desire to stay in one’s comfort zone, to resist change, and to avoid a ratcheting up of one’s goals and responsibilities is a little noticed earmark of the procrastinator. The reasons procrastinators put off doing things are varied.
Some are in a bad habit pattern; others contend they work better under pressure, and as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, there are many who haven’t fully decided to do the task that they’re postponing.
But others, such as the Seniorphiliacs, are really too occupied with the pleasures of the ruts or grooves they’re in. The teacher that won’t submit an updated lesson plan to the administration is happy as a clam teaching the same course semester after semester.
This professor isn’t slothful; he’s contented. By actually doing the task he’s confronting the unpleasant fact that he must change some aspects of what he considers a perfectly serviceable design, and rather than put himself into a position of acknowledging that pesky fact, he puts off the task.
The investor who had a good experience buying IBM stock wouldn’t bring himself to sell it, despite the fact that this giant was eclipsed, over and again, by companies such as Apple and Dell, and its share price was steadily eroding.
Though the good times were clearly gone, he hung on, and it cost him dearly. To many, he’s a sap and a poor investor.
But if the truth be told, it would show that he procrastinated because he wouldn’t take off his rose colored glasses and see the world for what it had become and was becoming.
I assure you, at least until I’m knocked off, that you won’t find this correlation between good times and procrastinating in most books and articles. But if you examine your own tendencies to shelve certain duties, it may be because you are having too much fun prolonging the ones you already have underway.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com & The Goodman Organization is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, “The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable,” published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: [email protected]
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