Procrastination - The Thief
Why do it now, when I can do it tomorrow? Your assignment is due in two weeks, or you have a business idea or other personal matters, but you keep putting them off. “I will do it some other time”. I will just wait until the last minute because it causes an euphoric rush of adrenaline to start pumping and I become more creative and get things done. Sounds like you? If you answered yes, then what you have been doing is called procrastination, therefore, you are a procrastinator!
I am guilty of procrastination too. I should have written this article weeks ago, but I kept putting it off, “I will write it next week”, I kept saying. There are other business matters that I have kept putting off too, but I have made the decision, to kick this monster – PROCRASTINATION - in it’s butt once and for all, by first getting rid of the fear and then do what I need to do!
Procrastination is putting off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness, fear or laziness. Sounds a bit too harsh? Sorry, but this is exactly what it is. I am guilty of it too and I have paid dearly at times. I have learnt that procrastination eats away at one’s motivation.
Why do we procrastinate? Some persons procrastinate out of fear of not being perfect, fear of failure or out of fear of the unknown. Some persons procrastinate because of indecisiveness. When this happens, things sometimes slip away from us while we are there trying to decide what we ought to do. We then forget all about it, and then we move on to something else to ‘not decide’ about and then it becomes a cycle.
Types of Procrastinators
There are different types of procrastinators. Which type are you?
The Relaxed Procrastinator is lazy and puts off completing work. They feel that their work can be completed in time so they put it off until the final minutes near to the deadline. They will pursue other activities that they enjoy or consider ‘fun’.
The Decisional Procrastinator recognizes thatthe work needs to be done and knows exactly what hinders them in making decisions about what to be done. They do not directly put the work off consciously, but because they have problems making decisions, this puts pressure on them so that the work is started and completed at the last minute.
The Escapist Procrastinator is a person who likes to dream and always see the big picture in the future without giving thought about the steps that will have to be taken to make this dream a reality or success.
The Afraid Procrastinator gets very nervous in stressful situations because they are unsure about their ability to complete the work. They feel that they work better if they relax first because they put themselves under a lot of stress. Then they spend time trying to unwind, which should be spent starting or completing the task.
Have you identified yourself in any of the types? Which type are you, the escapist procrastinator or the decisional procrastinator who feel that you should relax and unwind before making a decision? If you are a procrastinator you are your worst enemy. You use excuses so often and put yourself under way more stress than you need to. You tell lies to yourself such as, “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow,” or “I work best under pressure”. You pretend that working under pressure makes you more creative. Is this true? No, it is not!
How can you stop this dreadful habit? You could:
· Set time limits or deadlines and stick to it.
· Make an activity schedule and stick to it.
· Act on your dreams or goals by charting a pathway and taking the necessary steps so that your goals/dreams will be realized.
· Try to fight fear, learn to believe in yourself. Get help if you cannot do it on your own.
You may be surprised to know that procrastination can affect your health. It causes you to become stressed and when your body is stressed, then your immune system is affected , your body becomes susceptible to disorders or diseases. Wonder why you get the flu or cold so often? Or get depressed, panic disorder, gastrointestinal infections etc.?
Do you wonder why you sometimes miss out on certain opportunities? Yes, procrastination. Persons sometimes fail to live up to their full potential because of their inactions.
Procrastination is a thief of time. Why allow it to continue cheating you by stealing your time? You need to take action now! Do not put it off until….. Empower yourself and take action now! The instant you take action, procrastination ceases to have any control over you.
Remember, NOW is everything. Do it now!