Personal Development


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Chapter XXX – Procrastination & Parkinson’s Law

I am Jude. I have been in a longstanding lifelong struggle with procrastination. In fact we have been in a pitched battle for as long as I can remember. 

It has compromised important relationships, contributed to missed opportunities and limited my academic success.

Procrastination is the act of postponing important tasks until the last minute, or past the deadline. It’s failing to convince yourself to do what you know you need to do.

Many times, instead of working on meaningful tasks, we distract ourselves by performing trivial, unrelated  activities. This creates increasing levels of stress, guilt and internal conflict and is part of the procrastination cycle.

I like the metaphor that compares a looming deadline to a fire in the distance. When the fire is small and far away, there is no immediate threat and consequently, no need for alarm.

As the deadline gets closer and the fire grows, you become increasingly concerned about putting it out. 

However, in many instances, we create convenient distractions and procrastinate. Instead of completing the required task and putting out the fire, we put it off. 

Ultimately, the deadline arrives and we’re forced into fight or flight mode. Either we decide to extinguish the fire or allow it to burn down our metaphoric homes.

I have lost ‘personal property’ and received third degree burns because of these destructive flames. Procrastination has cost me friendships, new experiences and potential promotions simply because I have ‘put-off’ doing what I should have been doing. 

Parkinson’s Law

I think we can all identify with Parkinson’s Law. It is a concept first referenced in 1955 by a British naval historian named Cyril Northcote Parkinson. It theorizes that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

When you have time, you take it. Whether we have two days, two weeks or two months to complete a difficult assignment, most of us will complete it the night before it is due. The task grows to fill the time you’re given.

However, it is critical that we understand that we are not procrastinators, we possess a habit of procrastinating. There’s a huge difference!

 It means that these self-defeating behaviours can be altered with increased discipline and intention, they don’t have to define us.

Overcoming Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates to varying degrees. It affects some more than others but we all fall victim to it. It becomes problematic when it’s chronic or we accept it as part of our identity. 

Failing to pay bills, complete work assignments or make important time-bound decisions will ultimately result in significant consequences. 

So how do we overcome this self-sabotaging behaviour?

Intrinsic Motivation

In order to create a satisfying and sustainable commitment to completing tasks we need to develop intrinsic motivation. This type of motivation is associated with your big picture and what you envision for your life. 

It is action-oriented and focuses on the journey and not the destination. It provides ongoing direction, perspective and inspiration and includes your proverbial WHY. 


Acknowledge when you are procrastinating and consider your internal reasoning and rationalizations. Why are you avoiding specific tasks? Are you bored, overwhelmed or unsure where to start? Learn what’s holding you back and plan accordingly. 

Become More Organized

Poor organization and undisciplined time management contributes to procrastination. People successfully overcome it by employing a variety of strategies.

These include prioritized ‘To Do Lists’, schedules and effective action plans. Tools that help organize important tasks by priority and deadline.

Limit Distractions 

Avoid the time killers. Turn off your email and social media notifications and avoid watching television while you work! It’s too easy to get lost in your favorite online distractions. Value your time, it is a precious commodity.

Complete the Most Important/Difficult Tasks First

There is an African adage that advises us that:

Eating an Elephant Beetle at the start of your workday is the best way to ensure that you will not have to tackle anything worse that day.

In other words, get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will leave you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable and alleviate  stress and apprehension. 

It is difficult balancing all of life’s impossible demands. Overcoming Procrastination and Parkinson’s Law are essential to increasing your productivity and making more effective use of your time. 

Confront these insidious habits with effective strategies, mindfulness and discipline. Don’t procrastinate, adopt them now.

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

I have been participating in an amazing on-line coaching event for the past two weeks. 

It is an informal weekly meet-up where life coaches can drop-in and obtain some direction, coaching and support.

The discussion is facilitated by a certified master life coach who is skilled at group coaching. She creates an inclusive, heart-centered environment and encourages participants to connect and collaborate with one another. 

The experience has been phenomenal to date. The space felt comfortable, there was a common sense of purpose and everyone was invested in each other’s personal development. 

There is power in connecting with people who can identify with your struggles and offer relevant counsel. Imposter-syndrome, creating a viable business and balancing the demands of life can be overwhelming. 

That’s why I consider these types of events high value activities. They encourage me to grow, build my network and acquire new skills to best serve my prospective clients. 

I have approximately one month remaining in my life coaching program. I am utilizing that time to improve my practice, seek other like-minded life coaches and increase my network of support.

Your Next Best Read – Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

If you want to better understand your emotions and how to improve your connection with others, you need to read this book

It is literally an atlas of emotions that provides us with language to better define how we feel and express ourselves. The ability to label and communicate our feelings leads to greater emotional regulation and psychosocial well-being.

Using science-based facts and research, the author explores and defines over 87 human emotions. She provides an encyclopedia of human emotions with practical definitions.

For instance, she discerns the difference between contentment, joy and happiness; shame and guilt; and envy and jealousy. Similar terms with very different meanings.

The book also introduces the Buddhist term of ‘near enemies’.  This refers to a state of mind that appears similar to the desired state, hence it is ‘near’, but actually undermines it, which is why it’s an enemy.

For instance, pity is a near enemy of compassion and pride is a near enemy of joy. They are related but have very different meanings. 

‘Far enemies’, by comparison, are often far more obvious because they seem to be the total opposite of the beneficial qualities we are intending to cultivate. Cruelty is a the far enemy of compassion

Brown attempts to provide language that encourages us to make sense of our emotions, define our experiences and express what we are feeling. 

The book has provoked me to consider my use of language and reflect on my emotional vocabulary. 

I have been lacking in this regard but am committed to better understanding my feelings 

Dope Quotes from the Book

“Science is not the truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more.” 

“Comparison is the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other—it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out. Comparison says, “Be like everyone else, but better.” 

“There are too many people in the world today who decide to live disappointed rather than risk feeling disappointment. This can take the shape of numbing, foreboding joy, being cynical or critical, or just never really fully engaging.”

“Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences.”

What’s Good – Positive Reflections

The Black Men’s Mental Wellness group met again on Saturday, April 30th. It was our first in-person meeting in months and it was great to be together in the same space again. 

It makes me smile everytime I consider that a group of Black men in Truro, NS, are meeting regularly on the weekends to discuss issues related to their mental health. 

Fifteen(15) brothers ranging in ages from fifteen(15) to seventy-three(73) saw the importance of making the time on a Saturday to be in the same space and share their feelings with one another. That’s powerful sh@t!

There were some new faces, people were able to get free cuts and we engaged in a meaningful discussion about big emotions and how to Be Better. 

My most memorable experience was the check-in. Individuals were simply asked to share a win that they have recently experienced. What was powerful was the response that everyone received from the group. 

Brothers were genuinely happy about each other’s accomplishments. Brene Brown defines this concept as ‘Shoy’, the act of sharing in someone else’s joy, happiness or personal achievement. I am adopting it as part of my growing emotional vocabulary. 

It’s hard for me to put in words the benefits I derive from my involvement in the group.

It’s therapeutic. It provides me with a safe space to express my feelings without judgement or ridicule. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share and grow together.

Special Shout-Out to Dylan Hortie @cutsbydyln, for providing free cuts and edges during the meeting.

Next meeting May 21st at 1:00pm at the Colchester Library. We are hoping to have the ability to allow individuals to join virtually soon. Stay tuned.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplas

Public Announcement

By 2030, the African Nova Scotian community in Truro will have a sustainable, state of the art, multi-use community space. The structure will add value to both the Black community and the municipality and will showcase our unique cultural and historical contributions. I am speaking it into existence……

To provide some context, there is growing momentum to secure funding for the construction of a dedicated space for the local African Scoian community. We are one of the few, sizable traditional Black communities in the province that does not have a community center. 

The idea is gaining interest and we are actively securing a broad base of support. 

The community recently engaged with some of the leadership from the T.A.A.C. Grounds Revitalization Project. This group is awaiting a Federal announcement that will ultimately result in the construction of a new baseball field and clubhouse. 

The identified space for the project is owned by the municipality and is located adjacent to  the Black community on West Prince Street. 

We are hoping to ‘piggyback’ on their land development project, hire a consultant and create a convincing business case. Our timelines are completely different but we would like to explore the possibility of shared services. 

We have obtained support from all three levels of government to explore the viability of a dedicated community space. 

The Town of Truro CAO and Deputy Mayor have already demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with the community in this regard. Conserviative MP Stephen Ellis and MLA David Ritcey have also recently expressed their interest in the vision and have verbalized a commitment to assist. 

Our next objective is to secure funding for a consultant to develop a business plan. The mandate would include active engagement with the Black community, government officials and local industry.

Imagine the possibilities……..

  • A sustainable center of excellence that focuses on education, Black military history, computer coding or music. 
  • A state of the art multi-use facility with Memorandum of Agreements with educational institutions, local industry and corporate sponsorship
  • a national tourist attraction.  

The time is right. We possess the requisite political power, human capital and community support. We have everything we need to make this long held dream a reality. 

Having the space operational by 2030 is a lofty goal but I am convinced we can achieve it. We can accomplish anything together. I am Jude. 

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

2 replies on “BOOK OF JUDE – CHAPTER XXX”

Only “book” that I read is “THE BOOK OF JUDE”

Super inspiring & at the same time learning new things about how I view myself, taking a different prospective of “Life” and the readings make me want to accomplish something.

Love these weekly chapter readings.

Glad they have been beneficial brother. WE are capable of amazing things once we realize our decisions determine our destiny. Dream big, develop a plan, be intentional and challenge yourself to be a little better everyday. The results will astound you!

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