Let’s look in one curious diary:
“Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Starting today, I’m going to start a new life: signing up for French classes, running in the morning.”
“Friday, January 1, 2021. To be honest, none of the things I had planned back in the fall worked out. Distractions, problems, new Playamo NZ slots online and Netflix shows were so tempting. I will start all over again on January 1. New year, new accomplishments.”
“Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Somehow the routine has taken over. It’s very hard to get up in the morning, and in the evening I have no energy for anything except chatting with friends on social media. Okay, summer is the best time to start over. Now everything will work out for sure.”
It is easy to guess that months and years will pass, but nothing much in the life of the diary owner will change. Unless he seriously ponders why it happens – like there is a desire to achieve something, but it evaporates in the hectic bustle and idle fun.
This is typical procrastinator behavior. The procrastinator endlessly postpones important and urgent tasks “for later, for tomorrow, until the right time.” Instead, he is engaged in all sorts of nonsense. The consequences are disastrous – frustrated deadlines, missed opportunities, problems in relations with others, or even depression.
Procrastination as a phenomenon has become a real scourge of our time. People say of its victims, “They’re just lazy!” That’s not quite true. Those whose favorite excuse is “I want to, but I can’t!” are characterized by guilt, shame, and anxiety. The real slacker doesn’t worry as much about prolonged inactivity.
The danger of procrastination is that because of it, precious time is spent extremely inefficiently. As you know, it cannot be reversed.
Causes of Procrastination
There are different causes of procrastination:
- Fear of failure. You are sure that any of your attempts are doomed to failure. There may have been unpleasant experiences in the past that are perceived as “now it will always be like this.”
- Attempts to move in any way are blocked by the thought, “We have to do everything perfectly!” Perfectionists are never satisfied with the result. Some of them unconsciously postpone the necessity of taking active action – because it will not turn out the way it should anyway.
- Fear of success. Strangely enough, not everyone is ready to be successful. The fact is that along with success, familiar life changes, there are many unusual and incomprehensible things. And this is frightening. A person spends a lot of energy to adapt to new circumstances.
- Inability to see the results of his own actions as quickly as possible. A typical example is that sometimes those who try to follow a diet are disappointed in it because they cannot lose weight in the shortest possible time. The first results may not be seen immediately.
The Elephant in Pieces
In order not to be excruciatingly painful, you need to sort yourself out. Seek help from a therapist. The deeper and more serious the reasons why you prefer “then” to today, the less useful is the “Just do it” advice.
But there are ways to combat procrastination on your own:
- Recognize your real desires. If you were told you only had a year to live, what would you definitely want to do in the time remaining? What achievements would you prefer to be remembered by people?
- Form the habit of thinking positively. Focus not on failures, but on what you have succeeded. Praise and encourage yourself for any, however small, achievements – come up with a system of rewards. Imagine more often the positive changes in your life if your plans come to fruition. This will serve as your inspiration, which procrastinators lack.
- Master the skills of goal setting and time management. To do what? To prioritize what’s most important to do now and what doesn’t deserve your attention.
- To learn to plan and mark the results of your work on the realization of your dreams, including the intermediate ones. Then you won’t see an endless process of activity, which paralyzes our will in advance, but concrete results for which you should also praise yourself, not just for the final result. This will also help you to cope with the fear of doing big things.