Why do we allow it to happen? Things that may only take a moment never get done, larger jobs scare us, we don’t know what to expect or where to start. There are many reasons why we do it, put off for tomorrow what should be done today (or what should have been done yesterday!). We know we shouldn’t, but it is an affliction that is so widespread and affects so many.
I recently wrote an article in Lifehack called 7 Symptoms of Procrastination and how to fight them. This article helps us to identify why we procrastinate and suggests ways in which you can overcome your procrastination habit. Awareness is such an important element in personal development. Only when we know what is ailing us or what needs to improve can we make an informed decision to change. As Robin Sharma reminds us “With greater awareness we can make better choices which in turn lead to better results”.
But today I learned a very important lesson in the fight against procrastination.
JUST DO IT!
Yeah Yeah, it’s not as easy as that you will say.
Well here is what I will say, I have unbeknown to myself been procrastinating on a job for the past 3 months and these are the things I have been telling myself:
I still have plenty of time
My first excuse seemed rational, I had so much time ahead of me that I didn’t need to start the job, I could try and get some other work done and not be distracted by trying to do too many things at the one time.
But then when the time started running out my next excuse was:
I am waiting on research material to arrive
I need to do some research into the area I was going to write about, so I had to order books online, some came from the UK others from the US (the most important ones!) so they took longer to arrive.
But then when the material had arrived my next excuse was:
I’m busy reading the research material
I shouldn’t rush it, I needed to read all of the material to get the full picture and make my own informed decisions on the subject.
But then when I had finished reading all the research material
I have things that I need to get done first to allow me to focus
I like to get things out of the way before I sit down to work on an important project. I feel a bit lighter, calmer and more focused when I know I can concentrate on the job at hand and don’t need to worry about other work.
Then when the other things were done and the research was done and the time was running out, what could I tell myself now??
Well that was a difficult one, I couldn’t come up with a reason nor an excuse so what did I do? I opened the document and I made a start.
And guess what? Getting started created momentum and now it’s flowing. So now I have let you in on a little secret, I now know the best procrastination tip ever:
JUST DO IT – MAKE A START!
It’s not really that awful, boring, scary, as you think it’s going to be and remember the reward: the sense of completion is the best feeling EVER!