I’ve written articles on procrastination in the past. And I’ve had my share of struggles with getting things finished in a timely manner. There are many statistics that talk about the effects of putting things off. As time goes on, I am beginning to see many different aspects on the art of taking a rain check on my to-do list. So I raised the question, what is procrastination really about?
Traditionally, procrastination has a negative stigma. There are several different definitions, often referring to putting off something with less than stellar outcomes.
A goal might not be accomplished out of fear or lack of information. To do lists can pile up which can lead to being unsure of what should be prioritized first.
Delaying action to a fault could be interpreted negatively as being lazy, unfocused or without discipline. You know, just not productive as defined by society or other measures. But let’s look at procrastination a different, more positive way.
A Working Definition
What if procrastination could be interpreted as simply putting off an action that could done today? Just as anything else, procrastination can be a habit that blocks us from moving from point A to point B. No judgment. It all comes down to choices and consequences.
Procrastination is habitually putting things off or a self-limiting belief that you can’t accomplish something. Not starting a project could boil down to living in a state of overwhelm, sitting at your desk with a blank stare and the feeling of an equally blank mind.
If we wait for motivation to give us a good swift kick in the behind there’s a chance of a harmful outcome. The harm could lead to overworking and not getting enough sleep. It could be missing an important deadline at work. Or just missing out on the joy of living itself.
Three things that stops us from completing a task
I decided to step back and think about what could stop people from taking action.
- I don’t know how
- I don’t know why
- I can’t see a clear path to the end of my goal.
I can’t help but think that action is really about prioritizing what’s most important to you. And developing the skills to move forward. It’s also about asking for help to get through those tough times along the way.
Where to Go from Here
Just Start. Take one step on something you are putting off. It doesn’t need to be a grand or earth-shattering action. Momentum doesn’t come to us. We have to create it. Let the action weaken the fear and strengthen you determination to better your life.
Know Your Why. The more reasons you have to take action the more you empower yourself to get to your desired outcome. List at least five reasons why to want to do something and keep them with you. Pull the list out when you feel stuck. These reasons will keep you moving forward when you just want to give up.
Write your goals down. Make your goals living, breathing entities. They are meant to be used as guidelines for an end result. As you learn, grow and expand self-awareness your goals will grow too. Goals can always be changed along the way. Keep them to a minimum so you gain success.
Think about one thing that keeps you stuck and a step you can take toward action and making a difference in your life. You just might find that procrastination isn’t a block in your life afterall.