The next Get it Done Week, starting September 7th, is called “Tame your procrastination monster”. I wondered what would happen if you apply the wisdom of taming dogs to procrastination. Here’s the result, with thanks to http://www.wikihow.com/Tame-a-Dog. There’s some serious wisdom in there.
It’s natural and healthy for procrastination monsters to be energetic and alert. It’s not natural for them to be so energetic or aggressive that they are destructive and control your life. Yet, because it’s also not natural for them to live indoors and to be a part of human families, procrastination monsters need a strong and patient leader to teach them how to behave – you. Thus, it requires learning on both sides. This article will discuss ways to help tame aggressive and non-aggressive procrastination monsters through training; establishing yourself as the pack leader; bonding with your procrastination monster; teaching him simple commands; and through the use of positive reinforcement and correction, not ineffective punishment.
- Get a specialized procrastination coach. Often people confuse dominant procrastination monsters with an aggressive procrastination monster. A dominant procrastination monster wants to be the leader of the pack. An aggressive procrastination monster takes it a step further and becomes threatening or mentally aggressive. If your procrastination monster is aggressive, do not undertake training him by yourself. Aggressive procrastination monsters require special training. Seek the assistance of a “procrastination coach” who specializes in procrastination behavior. The coach will work with your procrastination monster and search for solutions specifically for your monster and your situation.
- Rule out a medical problem. Procrastination monsters can be aggressive because of medical conditions, such as depression, adrenal fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive problems, etc. Determine if one of these problems might be causing your procrastination monsters aggressive behavior before you start blaming yourself.
- Become the Alpha of the pack. Procrastination monsters are pack creatures and, therefore, you as the human have to become the pack leader. Pack leaders create rules, limits and boundaries to protect the pack. If a member of the pack doesn’t think the leader is consistent or strong, he or she will instinctually try to keep the pack safe by becoming its leader. This means you have to become the pack leader. You must become the teacher, friend, leader and guardian.
- You should be consistent, firm and confident when correcting your procrastination monster or he will feel insecure, confused and unhappy.
- As the pack leader, you don’t give affection to members of the pack when rules are broken.
- And remember that negative attention is still attention and will encourage bad behaviors. For instance, you can’t say, “Don’t play up, Monster!” as you pet him.
- Learn some techniques to help at home. While you should create your own personal guidance with your coach, there are a several things you can do to help control your procrastination monster as he is receiving training. One of the most critical is learning to regulate your emotions and to stay calm. The following are relatively easy solutions to common problems.
- If your procrastination monster has a habit of running into your head when the door is opened, prevent access to these areas with child safety gates, fences and so forth.
- Crate or kennel your procrastination monster when he is more relaxed, such as after a walk, or at night when you’re unable to monitor him.
- Make sure your procrastination monster gets plenty of exercise. Until he is trained to obey you, play with him.
- Take walks during times that others aren’t out walking in abundance, and make sure your procrastination monster wears a basket-style muzzle.
- Eliminate games like Tug-O-War that encourage aggressive behavior. Play non-adversarial games like fetch instead.
- If your procrastination monster is constantly jumping on you or demanding attention in other ways, use the “sit,” “stay” or “down” command once he knows them and then positively reward him with your attention when he complies.
- If that doesn’t work, step into your procrastination monster sideways when he jumps on you. Your shoulder will be to your monster. Don’t lean back as this encourages your dog’s desire to overtake your space.
If you’re curious about Get it Done Week, you can check it out here. It’s small group coaching for a ridiculously low price. That’s just my favourite way of marketing 🙂