“He or she that hesitates is lost.” Whether this is the chance at a promotion or missing out on the last pair of divine winter boots, don’t let this happen to you. See what we have in store for you this month
Stop Procrastinating
“I’ll do the report tomorrow”
“I’ll start my diet after Easter”
“I’ll apologise when I see him”
We’ve all done the procrastinating thing but there are some of us that have raised it to an art form! Not realising that we are placing our entire lives on hold. Procrastinators have excellent self deception skills, and are unaware that their behaviour appears to be laziness or lack of care to others.
When we don’t want to deal with something we either ignore it, hoping it will magically disappear or find a myriad of creative and inventive ( not to mention time consuming) ways of putting off a task. Tomorrow is always another day.
What we don’t realise is that this avoidance behaviour is making more rather than less stress. Unpleasant tasks that start off small, start assuming monumental status with enough vacillating. So when faced with tedious tasks try and get them done as soon as possible. If not – set realistic time frames to complete them by, that way you will be faced with only pleasant tasks!
If you suffer from chronic procrastination read on to find out the deeper reason behind why you are called “the office ostrich” ...
Avoidance behaviour is usually linked to deep seated and unexplored anxieties we have.
Here are some of the most common ones ...
A Fear of Success
Sounds weird but many people fear the accompanying responsibilities and attention that success brings. With success also comes the responsibility of continued success and the real possibility of failure. So to avoid these, we choose not to take chances, choose not to shine, bur are filled with envy at the success of others. Many people carry negative beliefs about themselves carried over from childhood. “You’re not clever enough” “That’s not for you; you’re not up to it”. By confronting these beliefs it is possible to transcend them.
  • Make a plan, set a time frame, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Do anything but give into inertia
A Fear of Failure
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”
Elbert Hubbard
It is only human to make mistakes but you can limit your chances of failure by ensuring you are working under optimal conditions. Ensuring a task is completed timeously will ensure you are not anxious, stressed and in a hurry when you eventually get round to doing it. Completing tasks at the last minute is possible but really bad for your nerves. You are also unlikely to produce your best or most accurate work. This merely reinforces your belief that you are not up to the task.
A Fear of Confrontation
Nobody enjoys confrontations. Childhood conditioning often has a role to play in why we’ll find any excuse not to challenge or question other. Autocratic parents and inadequate teaching of negotiating skills could be the cause.
  • If you identify these factors as the cause of your procrastination –sign up for an assertive training course, employ the services of a life coach, model your behaviour on someone assertive you know, read articles and books that will help you to take charge of this area of your life
A Fear of Change
Change is daunting; by procrastinating you maintain the status quo. “Better the devil you know” might be your motto
  • Try framing changes in a positive light. Humans always respond better to the carrot than the stick!. Use techniques of positive visualization to see the task completed
  • Be realistic – unrealistic goals will only increase your fear
  • Take baby steps , but keep going forward
  • Use a reward system. If you complete a task within the allotted time, reward yourself. A trip to the movies, a donation to your holiday fund, a new pair of shoes
Tools to jump start you!
  • Admitting you are a serial procrastinator means your are half way to solving the problem
“Avoiding reality is not the path of least resistance, it offers only a path littered with larger obstacles”
Ayesha Pillay
  • Ask yourself – “What is the price of delaying? What is the worst that can happen?” That should scare you into getting started!
  • Write down the task. What sounds insurmountable in your head often becomes more manageable when placed on paper
  • Anticipate problems and think through strategies on how to cope, rather than be taken by surprise
  • Up skill yourself, if you can’t complete a task because of a lack of knowledge. Ask, research, you will be improving yourself at the same time. Better yet, you should have been honest at the inception and indicated the task was beyond you, but you would give it your best shot
  • Enlist the help of others only as a last resort. Don’t transfer responsibility because you have left yourself too little time to complete the task
Procrastination doesn’t only have short term fall outs eg your lights being cut off, being passed over for promotion. It also ensures long term damage to your psyche– as you slowly and steadily erode your own self esteem
For those that have found this article has struck a chord within, Professional Impressions offers 2 workshops that relate to dealing with procrastination and achieving personal goals:
The Superwoman Syndrome is for the woman who is trying to do everything and be everything, at the same time. This inspirational and entertaining presentation will provide strategies for coping with today's realities.
A Work in Progress will encourage you to take a step back and re–evaluate your life. This presentation will enable you to see yourself and others in a new way.
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Winter Winners
Are you completely fazed at the beginning of every season as to what to buy? Believe that buying seasonal trends is a waste of money? Caught in the trap of buying fashion that neither suits you or your wardrobe?
If you answered yes to any of the ABC’s above, then you need to delve into the rest of the alphabet to find all you need to know about creating a winning winter wardrobe.
A= Astrakhan–this is a lamb’s wool from Russia and it adorns anything from your coat to your bag this season. Russia is a strong influence this winter, whether you do the Russian spy thing in your trench–type coat or the decadence and opulence of the Tsars in your fabric choices or medallions.
B= Boots and all. There is a boot style for all this season, from ankle boots to knee highs. Heel styles vary from high to a wedge to a flat heel. Toe styles are either round or pointy. Boots are adorned with laces, grommets, buttons, buckles, bows fur and fripperies. In leather or rich coloured suede. A boot must be on your shopping list.
C= Capes. We did the poncho last season. This winter your coverall is the cape. Worn long, or short, sheer, or cuddly in suede
D= Draped Dresses stage a comeback, floor or knee length. Skirts are gored to fall softly and designed to twirl with movement. The ultimate dress is the softly draping wrap dress
E= Empire Line. Dresses and tops are all gently tucked under the bust, great to minimize tummies. The softly draping fabrics are feminine and flattering
F= Fur and Feathers. Haul out granny’s feather boa, dismantle and use to decorate shoes, bags, and clothing. Furry friends such as rabbit, fox and mink are used to adorn
G= Gaucho pants–knee length, wide cut cropped trousers return. With or without cuffs, are worn with knee length boots or flatter pumps
H= High–waisted, slim fit pants. These are great for elongating leg length and are worn with a skinny heel. Choose a flat fronted style, with concealed zips to ensure no tummy bulge. High–necked Victorian styled blouses, with bows, ruffles and pleats add femininity to the season
I= Individualisation. Be picky when you choose your winter look. Slavishly following fashion and religiously recreating “looks” as seen in magazines and on mannequins, doesn’t set you apart, merely makes you one of the crowd. Celebrate your own uniqueness and endeavour to create your own take on fashion
J= Jewel colours like ruby red, canary yellow are seen in fabrics. Jewel bright necklaces are worn as single lariats or are piled on in multi strands. Layering of chains, medallions, necklaces with horns and trinkets
K= Killer Heels. The high stilettos worn with the slim pants are going to require a bit of practise walking in. you don’t want to appear inebriated at 8 in the morning. Stilettos are patent leather trimmed or the peep toe style. If you are scared of heights the kitten heel pump is for you– much more comfortable. Wear the pointy toe and look for fabric covered shoes in tweeds or exotic skins
L= Luxurious fabrics – decadent, velvets and brocades, use lace to soften
M= Masculine. Join the boys club with elegant, but severely cut suiting, but then ensure you feminise the final look with your accessories.
Men – colours are black, white and charcoal, muted and smokey – dusty pinks, teals and purples. Combine the striped shirt with the argyle jersey. Mix fabrics– corduroy with a wool jersey.
N= No make up trend. Those magazine models may look like they’re not wearing a stitch of makeup, but it is all there – from concealer to lip liner. Lips, eyes and cheeks are very soft and neutral. If you prefer the colour route hot trends are Magentas rather than red for lips, peach rather than rose for cheeks and a green sheen for eyes.
O= Opulence and Ornate. Turned up collars, worn with a velvet cape ala count Dracula. Mix your fabrics – tweeds with lace, brocade with velvet. Look for textured fabrics or subtle patterns like herringbone and hounds tooth
P= Purples of all hues, the colour of the season, along with every shade of grey. Teals, brown and black abound
Q= Quilted fabric adds a great retro feeling to an outfit. Use small quantities or you could look like the family’s heirloom bedspread
R= Rosettes. Whether on your shoes or in your hair this whimsical accessory will be every where.
S= Skirts will be very popular this winter, choose a straight below knee pencil skirt. Look for soft flirty and flippy hem detail. Or choose a panelled or gored skirt for a soft swirl.
T= Tulip skirt. Oh horrors! These skirts make even ramp models look like Bell peppers. The puffy shape is created with pleating, banding or tucking. Wear knee length, no longer
U= Uniform Military style, cropped jackets with braiding, metal buttons abound. Lines are clean and crisp, lapels are cut wide .You will look best when you dress in a monochromatic way (shades of the colour or the same colour top and bottom). Choose brown or a blue /black and avoid styles with epaulettes.
V= Victoriana. Shirts are high cut, ruffled, pleated, pin tucked. Little laced ankle boots peep out from lace skirts. Use to soften more classically tailored clothing
W=Wide Trousers. Try these if you prefer a wider cut, rather than the very narrow style. Choose in textured fabrics. Remember to wear a fitted top or jacket to avoid appearing overly large. Cuffed trousers will make you appear shorter, so ensure your pants length is correct, rather too long than too short
X= Xtra Attention to detail. This is a very ornate and dressy season. Look in the mirror and ensure you haven’t gone too far with the adornments.
Y= Yard –Wide Shoulders. Sleeves are puffed and pleated, wonderful if you have small shoulders or wide hips, not so wonderful if you have a swimmers build.
Z= Zen Trend. The Asian influence is also big for winter. Think kimono inspired dresses, Obi style belts and Japanese influenced prints
It is vital to pay some credence to fashion, whether it is adding a seasonal colour in a scarf, a new pair of shoes or the addition of a rosettes to your lapel. Choose not to bow at all to fashion and you mark yourself as uninspired, boring and out of date. Small concessions will reap great rewards in increasing your visibility and confidence and need not break the bank.
If you are unsure of what colours and styles suit you best this season, contact us. You will learn what colours, styles, fabrics; trends can do for you, how to make the most of your assets as well as how to make your wardrobe work as hard as you do.
For more information please contact us:
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
O MagazineDec 2004
FairladyOctober 2002
CosmopolitanSeptember 2003
CosmopolitanApril 2003
CosmopolitanNovember 2002
In stylewebsite
QueensparkAutumn 2006 Catalogue
EdgarsAutumn 2006
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