How tomorrow can easily become 12 months or even 2 years.
How many opportunities or activities have you missed because you procrastinated?
How many times have you heard yourself say ‘I’ll do it tomorrow…which you never do! And eventually you never get it done!
Everyone procrastinates at some point, but some people avoid their unwanted obligations so much that it results in a downward spiral of emotions that has a snowball effect.
Procrastination is a thief of dreams.
Procrastination is the habit of putting off important, less pleasurable tasks by doing something that’s easier or more pleasurable. Social media, email, WhatsApp, television or Netflix and food are a procrastinator’s best friends.
When you procrastinate, you are only sabotaging yourself, by putting obstacles in your own path. You actually choose paths that hurt your performance.
Why do we DO THAT?
Apparently about 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For them procrastination is a lifestyle. And it cuts across all domains of their life. They don’t pay bills on time, they miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts or sports events, they don’t cash gift cards until it’s very late and they leave their Christmas shopping until Christmas eve.
There’s various reasons why people procrastinate. Sometimes one person has different reasons for procrastinating, depending on the activity. Doctors and Psychiatrists says these are some of the reasons why we procrastinate:
- Fear of the unknown – Picture yourself getting a pimple under your arm and you avoid getting it checked, because you don’t want to find out if it may be something serious. Instead you sit with it hoping it goes away. As it turns out, the old phrase “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” isn’t true. In almost every case, if you ignore something important for a long period of time, hoping it will go away, it will only get worse.
- Fear of failure or success – Those who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success, but in either case is very concerned with what others think of them, they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability. This is one of my main reason for procrastinating
- Being a perfectionist – Being described as a perfectionist typically isn’t regarded as cause for alarm. After all, isn’t perfectionism a good thing? Maybe not. A growing body of evidence suggests that perfectionism can be an extraordinarily damaging, cause overwhelming emotional suffering, and act as both a cause and symptom of anxiety disorders. And this can be a route cause to procrastination. Because you want everything to be so perfect, you delay getting started. This is also one of my reasons for procrastinating.
- Lack of motivation – Usually people lack motivation when they find little value in the projected outcome of their work. However, if people can clearly see how their work connects to their interests, goals, and concerns, they are more likely to value the activity and be motivated to invest their energy into it.
- Not knowing where to start – When you must perform an important task but struggle to find a good place to start, this usually causes one to delay getting the activity done.
- Arousal types or thrill-seekers – People who wait to the last minute for the ecstatic rush.
- Decisional procrastinators – people who cannot decide. Not deciding absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.
- Laziness – Working on a long project can be difficult because of the amount of effort that it takes to finish. There are also opportunity costs along the way where you must give up something you would rather be doing to get some work done on your project. This often leads people to lose their motivation and choose to set aside their projects for a later time. People can be selfish with their time, even if it’s for their own benefit.
We tend to care too much about our present selves and not enough about our future selves. We like to enjoy immediate benefits and results, especially if the costs of our choices don’t become apparent until far in the future.
- It’s easier to spend money now because you are going to enjoy the benefit in that moment (buying a new phone), than saving and accumulating to buy something bigger or even a better phone in a couple of months OR
- The payoff of eating cake is immediate (sugar rush) and the cost of skipping workouts won’t show up until you’ve skipped for months.
We are addicted to immediate results, so we tend to put off things that have a delayed result.
But what if you could better anticipate your future emotions? What if you could feel the pain now of working on that activity or being up at three in the morning working on that report, instead of then? Or what if you could face the pain of dealing with something annoying but important now, instead of next month?
If you could better connect your current self with your future self, you would master up the motivation you need to accomplish the task now, and not then.
When I realized that PROCRASTINATION was becoming a close friend of mine and she was stealing all my ideas and putting them under the pillow or under the box. I had to take a close look at what I was losing and the reason why I really hung out with her.
Yes, I’m part of the crew that procrastinates because of the reasons number 2 and 3 mentioned above. So, I had to make a stern decision that I will not procrastinate any longer, but I will apply myself to getting started with those important goals and dreams that I have no matter how far in the future am I expecting the results.
“Procrastination is the Thief of time” Don’t allow yourself to be a victim!