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Do you find yourself avoiding work? Feeling anxious or stressed? Dreading what you might read in emails or hear in voicemails?
You are experiencing procrastination. And possibly depression. With the upheaval COVID has brought to our lives, getting up in the morning may feel challenging.
Understanding and addressing procrastination is difficult. One of the better explanations appeared in a post on The Productive Mindset:
Procrastination is not a time-management problem.
Procrastinators often have anxiety or doubts about their abilities, or about the perception others have of their abilities.
Many procrastinators would prefer others think they lack drive instead of providing the opportunity for others to question their capabilities.
Underlying fear of failure or fear of success is common among procrastinators.
Depression and procrastination go hand-in-hand.
Fear, Anxiety, and Doubt
While the original Mindset post is no longer available, Googling “the psychology and behaviors of procrastination” reinforces that fear, anxiety, and doubt are major players here. Factor in a major life change – like a pandemic – and the stress ratchets up threefold.
Does This Sound Like You?
Do you put off taking care of important things to the point of jeopardizing relationships, career, finances, or health?
Do you put off doing what you need to do until a crisis develops?
Do you put off doing tasks unless you can do them perfectly or until you can find the perfect time to do them?
Do you hesitate taking necessary action because you fear change?
Do you think about things you’d like to do but rarely get around to doing them?
Do you believe that projects or tasks will somehow take care of themselves?
We all procrastinate occasionally. But if putting things off is affecting your practice, home life, health, or finances – don’t struggle alone. Oregon lawyers are encouraged to contact an Attorney Counselor at the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program (OAAP) any time for help with this issue. The OAAP is free and confidential. They are an excellent resource if you are experiencing depression, which is often the real story behind procrastination.
Getting someone’s attention is tough. Keeping it is even tougher. So why not adapt?
When setting up a training program for staff, offer content that is easily digestible:
Choose a theme
Set a training period
Divide the content into segments
Keep each segment short and limited to one topic
For example, you could designate July as “security” month and distribute brief training segments every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Choosing a strong password, avoiding phishing scams, and working remotely could be your first three topics.
Why This Approach?
I’ve been training lawyers and staff for decades. We belong to a profession that values continuing education, but we’re also busy and under pressure. When you distill information it is easier to absorb. Keeping it short means the listener or reader can get what they need and move on with their day.
Depending on the topics you wish to address, bar and other professional publications can be helpful too.
Get Staff Involved
While you undoubtedly have some topics in mind, be sure to illicit ideas from staff. What would they like to see covered? Know more about? Ask for their tips or delegate content research to spread the load. Training doesn’t have to be a one-person act.