Author Archives: Mary Jo Guglielmo

Procrastination Style Survey Results

 

Thanks to everyone who completed the Procrastination Style Survey.  The above pie chart breaks the respondents’ procrastination style by percentages.  Some other results from the survey included:

  • Many respondents indicated their procrastination style was a combination.
  • Age did not seem to have an impact on procrastination style.
  • Eleven percent of the respondents were male, 89% female.
  • The only category that appeared to have a correlation related to gender was over-giver.  None of the male participants indicated they were over-givers.

I have to be honest… I procrastinated on sharing the results of the survey.  My excuse is life got busy; but the truth is a combination of the characteristics of an over-giver, perfectionist and crisis-maker got in my way.  So how do I deal with it?  For me, keeping structure in my life is an effective strategy for staying on track.  Structure keeps me focused.  No matter how busy I get or what unexpected surprises drop in my path, if I am steadfast about my daily structure, it’s amazing what I can accomplish.

Check back here soon.   Over the next few posts, I’ll give some concrete suggestions for dealing with each type of procrastination style.  But for now, start with structure!

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What’s Your Procrastination Style?

You have a dream and you even have a plan on how to achieve it, but you’re not making any progress.  So what’s in your way? If you are feeling frozen, spend some time considering what’s behind your procrastination and it may help you get moving.  In Dr. Linda Sapadin’s book, It’s About Time!: The Six Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them, she discusses procrastinator types.  The following is a quick overview:

  1.  The perfectionist – They don’t finish projects because they need to be perfect and if it’s not done than it can’t be imperfect.
  2. The Dreamer – It can be fun to dream about doing something, but actually having to do the work and focus on details is another story.
  3. The Worrier –  This is living with the cup half empty.  Worriers fear change, they want to know the future.  What if the cup ends up empty?
  4. The Defier –  Does resistance to authority keep you from moving forward?  Do you resent being told what to do?  Many high school students who want to go away to school procrastinate filling out their college applications because their parents told them ‘to get it done’.
  5. The Crisis-Maker – Some people need to feel backed up against a deadline to get moving.  They feel most productive and alive when working in the overload mode.
  6. The Overdoer – I think a better name for this type of procrastinator is the Over-Giver.  It’s the person on every committee, the one always taking on the extra project.  An Over-Giver always has more to do than she has time for.  Did you notice I said “she”?  I think there are cultural messages that have created the Over-Giver.

Knowing your procrastination style will help you uncover the root of the problem and change your behavior.  So what type of procrastinator are you?

Click here to complete a short survey on your procrastination style.

Modern Meaning Making

I’m thrilled to welcome Magdalena Ball, who recently published Black Cow, a book of fiction  which explores themes of family, relationships and the meaning of life.  Enjoy her post below.  

Every piece of literature ultimately is involved in the process of meaning making. That is, by using text and literary devices we create a story of conflict and resolution.  When everything is working well good stories take on the character of mythology–elevating the struggle between expectation and reality to something universal and powerful.  Our protagonists find truth through this conflict while our readers become active participants, synthesising their own stories in response to the text.   Good literature provides the opportunity to deepen our knowledge of who we are even as we lose ourselves in a fictive universe.  Following are a few key elements of storytelling that lead to modern meaning making – what I’m always aiming towards when I write and what I’m always looking for when I read.

Changing frame of reference

Good fiction encourages the reader to see the familiar in new ways. This can change mental models and open the way to further discovery, perception, and changing understanding based on what the reader experiences. The reading becomes a cooperative experience between the reader and writer as they collaborate on the “performance”of the reading.  It’s at that point where the fictive dream, as John Gardiner put it, becomes encompassing, and the experience of reading becomes a real experience for the reader, where the way in which we think and perceive is expanded and enriched.

Viewpoint and narration

The viewpoint and narration are not as simple as choosing which person to write in and which character’s perspective to view the action.  It’s also about creating a strong, rich facade that drives the story. The narrator can be a character, or can be simply the overall form in which the story is described. A strong narrative voice is the backbone of any good novel and perhaps one of the earliest, and most important decisions a writer has to make.

Symbolism

Great art is always transcendent. It goes beyond the personal and immediate and hints at something broader, beyond the immediacy of its story. To do this often takes subtle symbolism, picking up names, objects, allegory, cultural indicators, parallels, and situations to draw on the reader’s own cache of meanings and expand the work.

Of course not all stories will be elevated to mythic levels, nor will they necessarily create new meaning in the reading. Sometimes a book is light, enjoyable and instantly forgetable, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However,  if you’re the sort of writer or reader who is always looking for something of depth in your reading – feeling, emotion, and a new way to describe, and understand what had previously not been understood or recognised – then meaning making is what the writing process is all about.

Magdalena Ball is the author of the newly released novel Black Cow. Grab a free mini e-book brochure here:  http://www.bewritebooks.com/mb/BlackCow/BlackCow.html

For more about Magdalena visit: http://www.magdalenaball.com

Leave  comments, shares, or retweets to be entered in the BLACK COW book tour drawing for some great prizes. 

The DREAM BIG Challenge: When Life Interrupts Our Plans.

Congratulations to everyone who completed the DREAM BIG challenge.  Sorry for the delay in announcing the winners, but sometimes life gets in the way of our best made plans.  In an attempt to become fit, I injured myself in a yoga class and was out of commission for more than a week.  I’m glad to report that I’m on the mend and slowly getting back on track.

And the winners are…..

  • Rebecca F. – Two personal coaching sessions
  • Paula M. – Do North Mug

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Dream Big Challenge and left comments.  What did I learn about myself through this challenge?   To find the grace in life’s interruptions.  I had been extremely busy lately and not sleeping enough, with the injury I was sleeping 10 to 12 hours a day.  I definitely caught up on my sleep.  I still have my dreams and I’m making progress, even if it is slower than I had planned.

How did you do on the challenge?  What did you learn?

Dream Big Challenge: Week Four – Course Correction

“Course corrections are spiritual interventions.  They occur when you live in constant denial or ignore your errors rather than being honest and confronting them.  Although such a mediation can be painful, it is your saving grace in the end.”—Sonia Choquette

Sometimes we need a course correction and when we don’t do it on our own, the universe is often happy to oblige.    This week I received an unwanted kick in the butt regarding my Dream for creating a comforting and peaceful home environment.  My BIG DREAM was to walk through my front door and sigh with contentment.  When I divided this dream into bite size pieces that I could sink my teeth into, there were pieces that I embraced with joy and others that I avoided, conjuring up millions of excuses to do anything else.

Paperwork is a beast that I have never been able to conquer.  When I clear off one table or filing cabinet, it morphs and suddenly four new surfaces are buried under paper.  This winter, I finally got the surfaces of my house cleaned by dumping all my paper into my office.  The result was that I couldn’t work there and had to move to my kitchen table.  Although I knew I had to deal with the growing mounds of paper for this challenge, I found it much easier to re-grout my bathroom.  After finishing the bathroom, it was time to move to my office.  Instead, I pulled out my list looking for an easier piece of the puzzle to a comforting home.  A new rug for the front entrance way…that was something I could do.  So I started locking the doors to go shopping for a rug, when somehow I locked myself in the backroom by my office.  I had no way to get back into the main house.  I had no phone, purse, car keys or jacket.

Hmm, Sunday afternoon, I could go visit a neighbor or begin working on the paper.  Two hours later, I had made a major dent through the mess when someone arrived home.  If not for this forced imprisonment, I think I would have done everything on my list before tackling that room.  Those two hours gave me the jumpstart to plow through the most difficult pieces of my challenge.  The elephant on my back was the mounds of paper.  It was probably the most important piece of my dream puzzle and I’m happy to report that most pieces of paper have been filed or recycled.

Is there an important task that you’re ignoring for your Dream Big challenge?  This week, look at your dream and priorities and instead of waiting for a nudge from the universe, make your own course correction.

Remember to leave a comment on all the DREAM BIG posts to be eligible to win one of the prizes!

Dream Big Challenge: Week 3 – Hit the Rewind Button

We are half-way through the 4 week Dream Big Challenge!

First pat yourself on the back for showing up even if you didn’t meet your goal.  If you’re having doubts about this challenge, tell the chirping monkey in your mind to knock it off.  Our monkey mind only sees what we didn’t achieve instead of what we accomplished.  So acknowledge yourself for showing up.  I even gave myself a present for getting this far.  I love to garden, so I bought a new gardening magazine while at the grocery store.

Now, it’s time to review what happened while working on your dream.  Did you meet your goal 85% of the time instead of 100 percent?  Did you run into some resistance?  Make sure you muzzle your chirping monkey mind while attempting to look at the resistance.  Your monkey mind is sure to tell you, you’re not good enough….you screwed up….you’ll never make it…You get the idea.  Instead try and uncover the underlying emotion, belief or action that blocked you from reaching 100% of your goal.

Once you have your answer it’s time to hit the rewind button and start again.  According to Issacson, Steve Job’s biographer, Jobs believed that everything that he had done correctly, required one moment when he hit the rewind button and corrected something he didn’t see at the outset of the project.   We are going to rewind the steps from the first two weeks and modify them so we can achieve 100%.

  • Envision your dream – Did you didn’t interact with a visual or auditory reminder of your dream each day.  If not, find a way to make it happen each morning.   I love post-it notes on the mirror. One of our Big Dreamers Mona Pease has a virtual cork board for her vision which she sees every time she turns on her computer.
  • Dissecting the dream into small action steps – Were your actions steps doable in a short period of time?  If not then cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Carving out time for action steps – Here’s where most people hit their resistance.  If this is where you struggle, spend some time reflecting on the underlying block to your dream.  Once you become clear about your block, it diminishes its power.

For those of you at 100% keep dreaming and for the rest of us that are not quite there, hit the reset button.  This added focus will help push you forward.

Remember to leave a comment to be eligible to win one of the Dream Big prizes.

Join the 4 week DREAM BIG challenge

Are you experiencing the midwinter blues?  If you are having trouble taking action or if some of your goals seem to be languishing, then it is time to join the Do North four week  DREAM BIG challenge. We are going to join together encouraging each other to go after one dream….one passion that is withering from lack of care.

Over the next four weeks participants will select a dream or desire to push forward in their life.  It could be a big goal or maybe it’s a small thing that you just can’t seem to tackle.   Often the minor irritations in our life are really blocks to achieving our bigger dreams.   Each week I will share new strategies and tools designed to drive your goal forward.   AND what would a challenge be without prizes at the end? Prizes include:

  • Do North mug – a reminder as you drink your morning coffee to follow your True North
  • Two Personal Coaching Sessions – designed to catapult your life forward
  • A guided meditation – Releasing the past…embracing the future (mp3 format)
  • A Godiva chocolate bar – Doesn’t everything end with chocolate?

To be eligible to win one of the randomly awarded prizes all you need to do is leave a comment on all four DREAM BIG challenge posts.   If your comment does not show your name, please include your first name and last initial.  You can sign-up through email subscription to be notified of the next post, otherwise just check back each Wednesday.  So let’s get started with this week’s strategy for bringing your dream to life.

Strategy for week 1:  Envisioning Your Passion

This week take some time and dream about what it is that you would like to create in your life.  In order to manifest you passion, you need to dream it into existence.  Maybe it’s a new job or relationship.  So, what does it look like?  If you are struggling with the particulars, then just image how it would feel.  Once you have an idea about your dream there are many tools to help you envision your dream.  Select a tool from the list below that works best for you.

  •  Create a Vision Board – Grab a poster board and add images, words, colors and anything else that represents your dream.    If you’re a techie and want to create something online, check out pinterest.com.  It’s like a virtual cork board.
  • Use the sound device on your smart phone and record what your dream looks like. I call this creating a dream script.  When recording don’t say “when” or “if”, instead state everything in present tense, (e.g. I am…).
  • Use a mapping software to chart out the pieces that make up your dream.  There are great free mapping programs like freeplane or freemind.
  • Create a “day in the life” of your dream – You know what your dream is, so what would a day be like if your dream became reality.  Write it out or try jotting down a day’s schedule that represents you living your dream.

After you have finished this process find a way to interact with what you created each day.  You can put the vision board on your dresser or listen to the dream script each morning.  If you charted out the pieces of your dream, post the map somewhere or consider putting the “pieces” of your dream on post-it notes and sticking them on your bathroom mirror.  Just make sure that each day you spend a few moments reflecting on what you dream looks or feels like.

So, what are you dreaming into reality?   Happy Dreaming!