Do you know what procrastination really is? Let’s have a look at this list – tick (or just nod) to whichever one sounds like you:
- You’re on Facebook every two minutes (goodness knows doing what) instead of doing something more productive, like that report you’re supposed to finish in an hour.
- You spend so much time talking to people about their lives and how you can ‘help’ while forgetting your own life as you focus so much on selling products to them and building a ‘scheme’ for ‘secure income’ that you don’t quite understand.
- Work, to you, is more about ‘socialising’ and having fun all the way… and you think the people that you are hanging around with will give you the result that you actually want.
- You bought so many kinds of books (maybe one about procrastinating)… and you still haven’t read a word off it!
- You made the queue in the coffee shop a lot longer, because you still can’t decide what to have at the counter.
- You’re getting dressed in the car, or putting on makeup in the car on the way to work. You thought you saved time… but even then, you’re late anyway!
So, do you get the picture – about how a procrastinator could look like?
(I hope you laughed a little at this list, I wasn’t really being serious – though if you do find yourself ticking and nodding away, then you may have a serious issue)!
Well, on a more serious outlook, procrastination is when you lose focus on what you’re supposed to be doing now and seem to want to do something else that isn’t important (like making twenty cups of coffee for yourself before you actually get round to do grocery shopping for the family).
Some form of procrastination can be good, others bad. But the most important thing is recognising it and knowing how it affects not just you, but people around you. Summing up from the examples above:
- Some things really need to happen… and you’re supposed to make them happen!
In business, you are in charge of it. You make and decide when things happen and should happen. But what if you’re not there? What if you promised clients to meet deadlines but you miss them and end up constantly apologising? How would you like to be the client instead, always waiting, hearing apologies and not getting any results from others? Where’s the report?
– It’s not only you that you may be disappointing.
No one works alone in this world. People were waiting for you at the meeting, but they left and become less confident about you. Because you did your makeup in the car, you look less presentable than you should have. How can you take anyone seriously if you were in the opposite situation?
– In time, people, and all that’s good start ‘disappearing’ from you.
Just like how you keep trying to sell goods and build a scheme for yourself, your income will be just as unstable as the pyramid you think you are building. As you turn out to be unreliable, it shows on your products and services. People will eventually turn away from you, and you will have to keep starting over (which is why your ‘pyramid’ is not actually building!)
So what can you do to beat procrastination before it turns you into a plague? Start by remembering these helpful phrases:
“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
- Edward Young
Well, do you like it when someone steals something from you? You’re stealing from yourself, because instead of experiencing all the other loving, joyful, fun opportunities that you aimed for, you fall back to your own familiar habits that put you off from what you really want to get.
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
- Don Marquis
Set goals for your personal and professional life. Know what you want and keep it in focus. Plan your time so you recognise what is important and what can actually be put off (all work and no play, after all, makes Jack a very, very dull boy). A personal coach or a really good friend can help you start and keep on track!
Do you sometimes tell yourself ‘if only’ this or that happened and was done, you could have been so much better? Do you feel you have potential, but you don’t seem to be showing it? What will you do now about it?