Last year, I wrote an article about how procrastination can benefit us. Now I want to look at procrastination from another perspective, because today, I had a writer's block for the first time in a year. I know I don't want to put off writing my weekly article to the last minute. Does putting off a task to a place in the future affect our “now” time? And does it possibly affect our future and our dream goals?
Merriam-Webster online dictionary gives us the definition for procrastination as to be slow or late about doing something that should be done : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc. I can agree with these definitions, however, I don’t think they always apply. Yeah, the first statement about being slow or waiting to the last minute can happen. I’ve been there. As humans, we have a tendency to put off what we don’t like to do. Instead of tackling a difficult or uncomfortable task, we push it off until it has to be done, or it never comes into fruition. While laziness can often play a factor in procrastination, I find I’m very active in other activities and commitments, that I must delay other certain tasks. We call this prioritizing.
If we have a goal in mind and we don’t take the baby steps to reach that goal, then we are cutting ourselves off. Even the word procrastination sounds close to castration. At the same time, we “cut” ourselves from our future endeavors. And this just defeats the purpose of having a dream in the first place.
So, what can we do when procrastination decides to sit down between us and our tasks? Here are some ideas:
1. Make a list of what you want to accomplish for the day. Writing our tasks even in single words, helps us to stay focused and we perceive a sense of accomplishment when we “cross” them off the list.
2. Take care of yourself. Self care, meditation, yoga, exercises, etc, are a part of honoring you. This is a commitment you make to yourself because you love you.
3. If you have a large project, take a part of the task and start working on it. I have found when I am in the frame of mind that a project is going to take a long time, it’s hard to get going on it. Then, later I discover when I’m in the middle of it, the work is done very quickly. Of course, this doesn’t apply to plumbing projects. Fixing toilets and leaky faucets always take 2-3 times the amount of time you think it should. And besides, we need to keep our plumbers employed because they are the experts at their craft.
4. Remind yourself of your goal. This helps you keep focused on the current activity and motivates you to finish the task. Keep an image of your goal on the desktop of your computer, on the desk or refrigerator. Your vision board on the wall plays a part here too. Every time you walk by the images, your subconscious is seeing it too.
5. Reward yourself when you complete the task. Rewards can be going to a movie, taking a hike, or anything that you find suits your unique way of gifting yourself for not procrastinating.
I hope this short list of suggestions gives you an easy way to not let procrastination block you from accomplishing your tasks. If you find yourself procrastinating, maybe it’s time to come up with a plan that will thwart the tendency to put off to tomorrow, what you can and want to do today.
Blessings and love!
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