If you’re one of the few people who aren’t plagued with the problem of procrastination, then you’re blessed beyond measure. This thief of time can quietly rob you of precious minutes, hours, days, or more before you realize they’re gone. You search for them and wonder where the time has gone, but it’s too late.
The task you intended to complete today was put off until tomorrow and there was good reason to do so, but you can’t remember why just now. Procrastination comes in many disguises. It’s called rationalization sometimes. You say, “I didn’t get started on that project because the weather was too hot or I didn’t have all the parts.” One can always come up with many good reasons to delay a project.
Procrastination can become a habit, and if you keep putting off developing new, better habits, then procrastination will be your constant companion. We find ways to delay a task because there are other things more important to do. Many times these are merely excuses such as checking your email, playing an online game, or surfing the TV to see if you’re missing something interesting.
You must learn to recognize a real reason to delay as opposed to just an excuse not to do something you don’t want to do. Ask yourself if that job really needs to be done and if your answer is yes, then get it done and afterwards reward yourself for a victory over procrastination. When the job is complete, step back and assess what you’ve done to see if it was worth the time and effort. Perhaps you were procrastinating for good reason, but that’s rarely the case.
Lack of direction can cause you to procrastinate because you’re not sure what to do next. Disorganization could be the father of procrastination. Get organized with a to-do list with the most urgent tasks at the top. Make a deal with yourself that you cannot do anything else until you accomplish at least one thing on the list. You can make giant strides with tiny steps.
Huge projects can be daunting whether you’re writing a book or building a house. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the elephant standing in the way. Cut a slice out of that elephant one day at a time and soon it will be gone. A small manageable task is much more palatable than trying to swallow the entire project. No matter how small the success, it’s another step toward completion.
Make a decision on what needs to be done and do it. Even if it’s wrong, at least you’ve done something. Indecision can cause major delays in both your business and personal life. It’s easier to make a decision if you create a list of the pros and cons of what needs to be done. Once you have a clear direction, your mind clears and the path becomes apparent.
Fear of failure can cause procrastination, but the real failure lies in never getting started. Difficult and dreaded tasks are rarely as bad as they seem at the beginning. Stop procrastinating today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow.