When my friend Mark and I got together at Mickey Dee’s a couple of weeks ago, we both talked about the need to focus on a few things that are truly important instead of scattering our time and energy around a dozen or more interests. I’m not sure how Mark is coming along with his resolve to pare down and focus, but I’m doing miserably.
Psychologists have a term for this tendency of mine. It’s called self-handicapping. Loosely defined as an inclination to add more and more activities and goals to one’s plate than can be successfully executed, I do it all the time. Some researchers say people do it because it gives them a ready excuse for failure. “I couldn’t get my paper done on time because I gave a dinner party for 15 people.” In reality, maybe the person was afraid of writing a crummy paper, and giving the dinner party gave her a believable and worthy excuse.
Another example might be signing up to participate in a sporting event like a half marathon, and yet every single day that it’s time to go out walking or jogging, something comes up. Sleeping late, procrastinating, writing that overdue paper, cleaning out closets, and a myriad of other important tasks keep you from lacing up your shoes and hitting the pavement. Then when the big day comes, you have a great excuse for lagging behind everyone else: You’ve been busy!
I admit that I can be a self handicapper. At least I’m now aware of it and am going to do something about it today. In fact, this morning. I’m going to put my word of the year, focus, into practice. Does a person really need four blogs, five if you count the one I have for my students? No. Does a person need a web site that’s ultra amateurish and seldom updated, much less maintained? No. Can a person learn and put into practice all the social media in a matter of hours? Again, no.
Focus, Jayne, focus. First things first. I’m going to eliminate the Eve’s Sisters blog at blogspot since it’s no longer necessary. Neither is the teaching blog at WordPress…giving that one the ax too. Next, I’m going to figure out how to develop a website at WordPress where I can also put the two remaining blogs. Doesn’t it make more sense to have everything in a central location than strewn about in different places?
I’ll get to Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Twitter later. But first, I better check in on my online classes. And hey, it’s my turn in WWF with Popalops. Hmmm, this new collage picture app on my iPhone is begging for some play time too. Maybe I’ll upload a collage that I made last night to this blog post. Great idea!
See what I mean? I excel at self-handicapping and need to focus, focus, focus!