Do you feel like you do your best work when you procrastinate? Do you think that’s when inspiration strikes and you can finally focus enough to get the job done? I’m sorry to tell you that procrastination is actually hurting you—and maybe even those around you.
According to Psychology Today, 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. They make excuses for why they didn’t complete projects on time, they’re late for work, or they didn’t file their taxes on time.
Much of procrastination comes from fear. I used to be a procrastinator; I was afraid of doing the work because I was afraid of failing at it. I’d look for something else to do instead.
I overcame my procrastination because I found something more important to me: The relief of being prepared. It was such great feeling when I let go of the pressure of the deadline creeping up. I was able to do the things I wanted to do because I learned to work toward my goal a little bit every day.
So, what’s your WHY? Why should you stop procrastinating?
Because you want happy, healthy relationships? Job security? A better quality of life?
Whatever it is, once you know it, everything will change. Your WHY will become more important than putting things off another day.
How will your life be different if you:
- Get everything ready for tomorrow before you go to bed and aren’t rushing around, anxious, in the morning?
- Are on time for work/meetings/interviews/practice/dinner?
- Are ready for your presentation even if your kids get sick and you have to stay home?
- Decided to put gas in the car before the needle was on the E?
- Got reservations at your significant other’s favorite restaurant for Valentine’s?
- Paid your rent/credit card bill on time?
- Have already done that thing you promised your spouse you’d do by today, even though you had to put out a fire at work and you’re getting home late?
- Actually started work on that goal you’ve always been dreaming about?
There’s something else that many procrastinators don’t think about—the joy and pride you feel from being productive. This fights off a depression that’s to slip into, especially when you have a project you know you need to work on.
You probably know what that feels like—you get sluggish, grumpy, and depressed because something is hanging over your head. Maybe you even get mad at yourself for not doing what you know you should be.
Depending on how long you procrastinate, this can get pretty ugly. You might even start snapping at your loved ones.
The good news is that you can snap out of this quickly—or avoid it altogether! As soon as you dive into what you need to be working on, you’ll feel great. You’ll notice you’re happy, pleased with yourself, and relieved that the task is complete.
If you benefit so much from doing what needs to be done, there’s really no reason not to get started. Knowing your WHY will help keep you focused, and the relief you’ll feel will encourage you to let go of old habits.