We’ve talked about excuses, but in this next installment, I’d like to propose that we consider whether procrastination isn’t truly the biggest doozy of them all.
One of the things I know I struggle with is the tendency toward procrastination when something comes my way that I don’t know how to handle.
When the answer/next action isn’t clear, I tend to set the thing aside thinking, “I’ll come back to that,” but end up continually putting it off and feeling less and less confident about eventually tackling the thing.
At the moment, I’m fairly certain that overcoming procrastination will indeed help me be a better person, friend, partner, family member. I’m also pretty convinced that my productivity, self-worth and sanity will increase exponentially as well once that’s happened.
The Hold Up
Our minds are staggeringly impressive when it comes to the things they can concoct and the ways they can derail us. However or wherever we learned to procrastinate, it’s pretty clear why we do it.
Generally speaking, we’re putting off something that is unsavory so that we can keep doing the easier or more savory things.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that – whether you’re growing a business or trying to overcome some personal bad habits – consistently putting things off will get you nowhere fast!
I mean, really, who wants to spend time wading through tedious minutiae when there are SO MANY other things that we would absolutely enjoy doing (not to mention all the distractions clamoring for our attention).
The unfortunate side effect of doing this, though, is how suboptimal we feel after doing so.
As with many things in my life, once I got tired of feeling that way and of hearing myself complain, I decided it was high time to do something about it.
Knowledge is Power
While extreme procrastination may be a sign of something else going on (e.g. depression) that merits enlisting a professional for help, I think it’s time we stop allowing ourselves to lazily and almost unthinkingly keep ourselves from becoming our best selves.
I mean, what if you could be or do or create the next big thing if only you could stop putting it off?
What I’m working on at the moment is similar to what we discussed when it comes to dealing with emotions]: I’m attempting to just label my procrastinatory (I just made up a word! WOO!) thoughts.
“The trash is pretty full. I should probably take it out… Nah. It’s still a little empty. Plus it’s freezing out right now.” Ding ding ding! #procrastination
Once I started labeling those little buggers, I started asking myself, “Why do I feel the need to put this off?” Nothing deep. Nothing extraordinary. Just honesty: “Why?”
“Hah! “ Leads to, “Ahh!”
Usually, the answer is LAUGHABLE. In some cases, it’s such a legitimate, and well-reasoned response that I had to pause and then gently remove the “I’m a real answer!” mask to see it for what it is: another EXCUSE!
If we can dig deep and use our compassion not only when dealing with challenging people, but also when dealing with our own internal battles, I think we can make this world (or even just our homes) a better place one action at a time.
I’m not saying that we can overcome procrastination just by labeling thoughts and giggling at our childish answers.
I AM, however, suggesting that maybe we’ll live our way into a life without constantly derailing ourselves. Particularly once we truly realize just how ridiculous it is to be held back by what are usually pretty simple impulses (e.g. coziness, comfort, easiness) that, say, a sloth would give into.
In our quest to become our best selves in our personal lives and in business, to paraphrase J.K. Rowling, let us choose what is right, not what is easy.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
There was probably something that came into your mind while reading this post and you are like “Yeah, I really need to get that done.” What is it? TODAY is the day to get it done….or at least take a step in getting it done. Share with us in the comments what you are tackling today!