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January 8, 2010 / Mark Kerrigan

Helpful tips and hints for head injury survivors (and others)


Have you ever put something off until the last minute, swearing that you will NEVER again procrastinate, and yet the next time you have to do something, again you put it off? I know I have and I know people who do it all the time. Actually, most people I know call themselves procrastinators–or they’re putting off that declaration!

It’s not uncommon for people who have sustained head trauma to be worse procrastinators than others. In fact, many times they find themselves getting distracted by taking on too many things at once. They lack focus!

IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL.

When I began On the Mark Writing, I listened to and read books and speeches by people renowned for being motivational speakers. I have a file on my computer with sayings such as the one above, and it’s named Nuggets–as in gold nuggets.

When taking up endeavors as to quit smoking or lose weight, most experts tell you to set a date you plan to start. When I used Chantix to quit smoking, the instructions said for me to set a “Quit Date.” Sort of arbitrarily, I chose July 22, 2008. And except for a couple of slips, I remained smoke-free for seven months. The problem came when I didn’t have a plan to continue being smoke-free.

So the problem becomes how to get things finished when you are the type of person who puts off things which need to be done.

When I find myself spending a great amount of time doing things which don’t fit into the plan for furthering my business or even just making sure the house is clean, I ask my wife what she wants me to do.

Most of the time, she jumps on the chance to make out a “honey-do” list. (However, she prefers to call it “Mark’s Mission.”)

People from all walks of life and all ages make to-do lists. Because most head injury survivors have a hard time remembering things, many of my therapists strongly advocated my making lists. For a long time, I was making lists for everything–from things to do, schedules and grocery lists.

Since my memory is (or at least used to be) good, I got out of the habit of making lists and schedules when I graduated college and entered the work-force. When you have something on paper (or PDA/iPod or iPhone), it’s much easier to stay focused on what needs to be completed.

It’s a proven fact that if you go to the grocery store without a list, you are much more likely to buy things you either don’t want or really don’t need–ultimately costing you more money. However, if you use a list, you likely will stick to it and only get the items for which you have budgeted or planned to get. It’s also easier to control your spending when using a list.

Like a grocery list, a to-do list helps keep you on task. I find that when I have free-time but several things I should be doing, it’s easier for me to stay on task with a list. Ultimately I have more focus and drive when I have a list in front of me of things I need to do to complete “Mark’s Mission.”

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. TBI Support Group / Jan 16 2010 11:41 pm

    GiveBack, Inc. is a recovery group for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Its purpose is not to help survivors to accept new lives that offer them limited options, but rather to help TBI survivors to deal with their deficits, improve their functioning, become active, and regain self-control of their lives. Survivors are to be respected and honored for having survived, but Traumatic Brain Injury survivors go on to realize their untapped potential to live productive lives again.

    The GiveBack approach to recovery is energized and empowered by support, inspiration and faith, but it is guided by recovery facts and by neuroscience. Support and inspiration, like time, medication, therapies, counseling and education, have not proven to be the essential ingredients in great recoveries for the majority of survivors.

  2. Felix B Maduro Panama / Nov 30 2010 11:16 pm

    I am definitely bookmarking this web site and sharing it with my acquaintances. You will be getting plenty of visitors to your website from me!

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