Ever had the feeling that you should be doing something productive. Yet somehow you cannot summon the energy to do so?
That is me today.
I should be doing my chores or finishing numerous crochet projects left unfinished. Now Eskom has hit us with load-shedding so here I am, addressing my issues and trying to help others while I mentally motivate myself. In my defence, I could say that I pulled muscles in my leg and neck but excuses, excuses…
Procrastination is what it is, the act of delaying or postponing something, especially something that requires immediate attention. To procrastinate means that you are slow or late about doing something that should be done but delay doing it until a later time for some reason.
My daughter brutally honest terror that she is, set it out my reasons for procrastination. I had lost my best friend’s Dad on Monday morning, he was an adopted Dad, and it was loss of a Dad twice over. One Wednesday morning, my colleague passed from cancer and that was a severe blow. On Wednesday evening, I learned that my best friend is ill. Worse, is that she is overseas and I cannot see her or hug her, nor provide any physical support. Physically and mentally miserable, I delayed all day, resorting to hide in the comfort of my bed.
Procrastination really cut into the way of progress and sometimes seem impossible. Yet it is not really difficult to stop procrastinating. In order to overcome procrastination, you need to understand why you are procrastinating. Is it because :
- You have emotional issues
- You are unpunctual
- You have a habit of watching just one last television program
- You make excuses
- Your room is untidy and something is not found easily
- You work on an assignment the night before a deadline
- You are always on social media
- You have poor study habits
Procrastination is, in fact, an emotional issue, not a time-management issue. This could become a real problem for me and I realised that I need to stay motivated, focused and grateful for many things. Thus I reminded myself to :
- Be grateful for my blessings
- Make no excuses
- Take action by planning ahead
- Kill the excuses
- Tackle the little tasks, feel the accomplishment
- Avoid distractions, the Big Bang Theory can wait
- Tackle the bigger tasks, reward myself.
- Have a “Can Do, Will Do NOW” attitude
One thing is sure, procrastinators waste the most precious asset a human can have, Time.
Reasons why we are prone to procrastinate :
- Unpleasant task ahead : Is it because the task is unpleasant and you choose rather to do something happy? Perhaps go to the spa? Sadly, the little tasks become huge and seemingly insurmountable. Not accomplishing it brings in shame, guilt and white lies.
- Lack of Initiative : Fear of missing out is common today as everyone wants to live in the moment and broadcast to social media.
- Lack of Interest : Subjects boring or tedious? My son find studying Afrikaans tedious.
- No time : A popular excuse. Something else always seems important besides the task that needs doing. What may seem like a brilliant idea initially becomes a dreaded task, simply because we have relegated it to the backburner. Telling yourself, you do NOT have the time…
- Too much of an effort : Sometimes ignorance on a subject and the thought of just doing simpler tasks. All too soon that neglected task, becomes an elephant in the room.
- It’s not important : What may be important to some is unimportant to others. My husband always runs the car until the petrol gauge shows red. Drives me nuts, especially when he takes my car out on the weekends!
- Distraction : Telling yourself that you’ll do the job early in the morning tomorrow, with a clear mind, when you feel more settled or rested. But when you wake up, you got distracted and did something else.
- You are what you keep : By surrounding yourself with negative auras of demotivating and unproductive people, it is often a reason as to why it becomes so easy to waste time.
Sometimes fobbing off or neglecting tasks may be caused by a fear of failure as we are wont to strive for perfectionism. Then there are those who procrastinate because of fear of the consequences that comes with accomplishment. I know a battered woman who was an accomplished storyteller but had a fear that her success at her son’s school would bring recrimination and abuse from her husband.
A colleague’s practice of being constantly unpunctual and her refusal to learn in order to further growth, has lost respect and confidence from her team mates. Similarly, procrastination can be damaging in other ways. That promotion could be elusive, progress would be stymied and precious time could be lost.
Some advice :
- The time is NOW! Like Nike says, “just do it! Sometimes we need to leave the shore to start the journey.
- Make a checklist.
- Start a new routine.
- Create a habit, a series of repeated acts that become a way of life over time.
- Set time frames, time parameters help with focus.
- Create a team, sometimes collaboration with a team works wonder to keep you accountable.
- Challenge your mind
- Be disciplined
- Unclutter your work space
- Listen to Ted Talks
As a mother, I constantly find myself singing a song, “do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today”, something I learned from my Dad. Something that I am desperately trying to teach my son whilst trying to help him inculcate good habits. Tomorrow may just not come.
If you began something five years ago, how much further would you be today?! Hence the determination to start TODAY is the crucial decision.
Conviction is necessary to be successful. The belief that you have the ability of accomplishment is very important, it sets the tone for the journey ahead. Allow no room for self-doubt. Positive affirmations are important. As is Action. Action brings results, immediate action brings results sooner!
For Michael Owen…
Being techno savvy is all well and good. Its fine to get to Whatsapp, but not for hours on end, neither is Tetris going to build your life. It’s all about you, for you.
Other images courtesy of the web