Procrastination is the thief of time and also a major weakness for me. Procrastination is the number one issue stopping me from attaining some of my goals. I mean how many of us can honestly say that procrastination did not get the best of us at some time or another.
We can probably all say that Netflix/Facebook/Instagram and YouTube have consumed more of our time than we care to admit. With learning to say NO (last week’s post), I now have to ensure that I get things done. So what is keeping me from the laundry list of things that I have to do? Let’s see…
When I was in University, my friends would always know that it was time for me to study or do a big assignment because that was the time that my apartment looked the cleanest – as a matter of fact; my apartment would look sparkling clean. Yep, you guessed it, cleaning was my way of procrastination … but, that was before Netflix took its place lol.
A famous riddle puts it like this, “I am free yet priceless, you can’t own me but you can use me, you can’t keep me but you can spend me. Once you’ve lost me you can never have me back. What am I?”
The answer is TIME.
Time is one of the most precious things we have in our lives and is very essential to achieving our goals. So, if time is so essential to us achieving our goals why then do we squander it?
A Fear of Failure – “I won’t succeed”
Fear of failing is said to be the most common cause of procrastination. If you fear the consequences of failing, then you do not take action. You are guaranteed not to fail if you do not attempt something.
Procrastination is comforting, it is a safe place when you fear failure. It serves as a protection mechanism, shielding you from the possibility of real failure as opposed to the failure that accompanies not attempting something in the first place.
Low Energy Levels – “I just don’t feel like doing it”
Come on, how many times have we used the “don’t feel like it” excuse? It is probably a crowd favorite and can be caused by many reasons. However, the most likely reason is you simply don’t have the energy to do it. You probably feel like you have a lot on your plate to begin with and if you are lacking energy, then you will not feel like doing much at all.
Lack of energy is a common cause for those of us with relatively unhealthy lifestyles. Whether we have too much on our plate, get insufficient sleep, have a bad diet, or in a high stress job, lifestyle factors play a huge role in your willingness to get up and take action.
A Lack of Focus – A dreamer without a plan
Lack of focus is another frequent cause of procrastination. This can occur if you do not have any set goals or your goals are too broad instead of being defined, for example: I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30, but I have not made any plans on how I will achieve this goal.
We should always begin with the end in mind. If we don’t know what we are working towards we cannot create a plan of action. If we have nothing to drive us or nothing to guide us, we will have no idea when we will get there. This results in us wasting the day away dreaming instead of being productive.
A Lack of Skill – “I don’t know how”
This one is my favorite. I have used this excuse over and over again. Have you ever just sat there, knowing what you want to achieve and wishing that you knew how to do it instead of educating yourself on what to do or finding the appropriate person to do it.
Lack of skill is another one of the most basic reasons for procrastination. If you lack the skills to complete certain tasks, it is only natural to avoid doing them. Avoiding doing the task is easier than acquiring the skill or improving on what you already know.
A Fear of Success – “How can I top this?”
A fear of success…did she really just say that…who is afraid of being successful?– Yes I did just say that, but before you go on a tangent, hear me out.
On the other end of fear of failure is fear of success.
Let me explain…You can be fearful of the consequences of your achievements.
Wait Shaunte, I still don’t get it…
Well, let me break it down some more…I have been writing this blog for just over two months now and with each post I am accumulating more and more readers. On my Facebook Page for my blog, at the time of writing this, I have more than 7,200 followers from around the world. People who have invested in my journey, who like reading my story, people like you who are motivated and uplifted by my messages.
My blog has grown at an exponential rate. So with success comes great responsibility. Each post should be better or at least as interesting as the post before. As I reach more people, more is expected of me and succeeding at this will expose me to more people. Some people will agree with my thoughts, some will disagree, some will hate my blog some will love it. I have exposed myself and there are positive and negative consequences.
This new path I have taken can be overwhelming…to anyone. The fear of success, fear of stepping out of your comfort zone, fear of being seen etc. can creep in. Each success only sets you up for the next challenge, perhaps a bigger challenge and this is enough to allow you to procrastinate your next step.
Do not remain stuck – we are all called into this earth for a purpose. Nobody can walk into your path but you, it is YOUR path. Likewise, I have to walk in MY path. And, I have made up my mind to walk on and see what the end shall be. I encourage you to do the same.
STOP the procrastination – let’s get things done! After all, some of us have only ticked off the first three items on our “2018 New Year’s Resolution list”. Some have re-shuffled the items due to procrastination. And, yes another year has almost ended but I hate to be the bearer of unwanted news – WE STILL HAVE SIX WEEKS TO GO so just do it!
Here are some tips:
- Fear of failure – Failure is not fatal. Mistakes do happen. We learn some of our greatest lessons after we have failed; we learn what not to do and how to improve. Remember most mistakes can be fixed. Don’t allow a fear of failure to stop you from even trying.
- Low energy – Make positive lifestyle choices to live a happier and healthier life. Improving on your sleeping habits, diet, exercise and having a work life balance will allow you to have more energy during the day. If you have made positive changes and still find yourself lacking energy, I would recommend seeking professional/medical advice.
- Lack of focus – Set yourself some inspirational-yet-attainable goals. It is important to set the bar high enough to encourage you to take action, but not so high that you are likely to fail. Setting goals encourages you to take action, you do not want to disappoint yourself by failing to achieve what you set out to do. Remember, failure to plan, is planning to fail!
- Lack of skill – First, identify what skills you are lacking then educate yourself on ways you can learn or improve your skills. Often a life coach, counselor instructor, or another professional can help you identify where the lack is. When you know the problem, then you can take action to correct it.
- Fear of success – Be positive. Remind yourself that you are now a part of something that is greater than you. Understand that stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you to grow. Although you may be scared at this very moment, you will be happy you took the next step. Find balance and ensure that you spend time with yourself. Don’t take on the stress of the world – that is not for you, you are only made to carry your own weight. Just use your gift, and use them wisely. Allow God to do the rest.
- Time never stops, never slows down, and is always moving.
- Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
- Therefore, time is the one resource that can never be replaced.
Are you an avid procrastinator? Tell us how this article has helped you rethink procrastination. Or if you have any key tips to get over procrastination we would love to hear them. Write your answers in the comments below.