Stop procrastinating before it stops you
Procrastination is a thief. It robs you of the one commodity that you just can’t buy back: time. It throws off schedules. It replaces accomplishment with inaction. It turns dreams into nightmares.
When faced with a task that you just don’t want to do, many of us simply put it off until tomorrow. That’s why tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. And one of these days become none of these days.
Putting off an unpleasant task until tomorrow simply gives you more time for your imagination to make a mountain out of a possible molehill . . . more time for anxiety to sap your self-confidence.
Most of us can relate to occasional bouts of procrastination – the phone call you have been dreading to place, the project that you just can’t get excited about, the meeting that you should have scheduled two weeks ago. But why can’t we just get in gear?
Thomas A. Harris, author of “I’m OK, You’re OK,” said there are three things that give people the “wantivation” to change: They must hurt sufficiently, they must experience despair or boredom, or they must suddenly discover they can change.
He explained, “Until one of these three is realized, any excuse not to change will suffice. As Mark Twain once said, ‘Why put off until tomorrow that which you can put off until the day after tomorrow?’”
Dr. Gail Saltz, author of “Becoming Real: Defeating the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back,” says that 20 percent of Americans are considered “chronic procrastinators.” But it’s not about laziness, it’s about fear, she says. Among the reasons:
- Fear of failure. Are you so paralyzed by the fear of failure that you’d rather just not try at all?
- Fear of success. Do you think that if you succeed at something then the bar will be set so high that you will never reach it again? Or are you afraid that you don’t deserve success?
- A need to be defiant. Is life generally a battle for control? Are you taking a passive-aggressive approach to control by procrastinating?