How to Beat Procrastination
Do you know how to beat it?
Do you know why you do it?
Do you care?
When I am comfortable or tired or relaxed, I can easily convince myself that later would be fine. I make a bad decision to put things off based on my current situation. Have you ever done that? … made a decision that seemed really good in the moment of its making but turned out to be a really bad decision when later came along. Yeah. It happens.
Why we do it?
The hard thing about fixing procrastination is that it can stem from more than one cause. Maybe you are procrastinating because you are fearful of what needs to be done. Maybe you are procrastinating because you don’t yet have the skills needed to do what needs to be done. Maybe you are procrastinating because what needs to get done is arduous work. And maybe you are procrastinating because your thinking is messed up. That last one sounds sort of like this:
“When I have time tomorrow,”
“I’ll have more time for that later today.”
“I’ll make time for that once this is done”
“Friday would be a better day for me to fit that in.”
What causes it?
You see, part of our procrastination is the perception that we will have more time in the future. In her study of time and memory, Claudia Hammond, psychology lecturer and BBC Radio host, lays out the research on this erroneous perception. She explains that even though our past experiences show us that time is limited, we inevitably assume that in future days spare time will be available. We are continuously fooled by this until we come to understand that it happens. (See her book Time Warped)
Hammond’s idea reminds me of the advice that older people gave me and my husband when we were first married: “If you wait to have children until you have enough money, prepare to never have children.” That’s pretty much the same principle. We are really good at convincing ourselves that the future has infinitely more possibility than the now, and that keeps us from acting now.
It is really awesome that we can be so optimistic about the future and what we will do in it, but we really need to remember that nothing takes the place of the now. If something really needs to get done or get started or get planned, then waiting till later is really just fooling yourself. I know that I have to stop falling for the trap.
Start now rather than later because tomorrow will be just as busy as today. It might just be the difference between now or never.
Get empowered. Feel enhanced. Be transformed.