Procrastination is the number one dream killer ever known to mankind. Many people think that interruptions have something to do with procrastination. This would be the furthest thing from the truth. Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something of great importance for something of less importance. Let’s face it, we all have procrastinated at one point in our lives. I get it, no one is perfect, but when procrastination begins to have a major impact on your life it may be time to do some soul searching to correct the problem.
So why do people procrastinate? This is a great question. Let’s see if we can find out why and find out how to overcome it. First, let’s identify the two variations of procrastination. For many years I have been fascinated by people who consistently procrastinate. You know the kind of people I am talking about. People that put everything off. These types of people will be late for their funeral.
In my line of work, I have come to the conclusion that procrastination stems from two areas of the human mind. The first area in question would be the conscious mind. This is the part of the mind that is active when you are awake and aware of what you are doing. The second area would be the unconscious mind. This would be the area of your mind where you are totally unaware of what you are doing. Conscious procrastination is the easiest to identify and also the easiest to negate. Unconscious procrastination is not that easy to recognize due to it having something to do with deep formed mental habits. We have to catch ourselves doing it before we actually know that we are doing.
Putting things off has destroyed so many dreams since the beginning of time. It has also caused more heartache and failure than all other time management issues combined. The procrastinator does not understand that the winds of opportunity blow upon us all, but the procrastinator never seems to notice due to not taking care of the things they should have taken care of.
Now, getting back to why people procrastinate. Why do people allow things that matter most to fall by the waste side to address things of lesser importance? Conceivably it could be due to the task being unpleasant. Some people unquestionably dislike washing their clothes, while other people dislike taking out the trash. Whatever the case, being productive and successful often requires people to get out of their comfort zones. The natural response to unpleasant tasks is to put them off. In short, we let events control us and our productivity. The only way to escape this vicious cycle is to become cognizant of our thoughts and behaviors.
Discipline is the key to negating procrastination. You will want to create urgency by setting deadlines for everything you do. This can be accomplished by setting goals and breaking those goals down into smaller tasks to be completed. You may want to address the unpleasant parts of those tasks first leaving the more enjoyable tasks for last. You may want to turn your tasks into a game, this will turn the drudgery into fun. You will also want to reward yourself for meeting your deadlines no matter how large or small they are.
Another reason we procrastinate would be due to over-committing, pursuing non-obtainable goals, fear of failure, being disorganized, and plain bad timing. The last reason I can come up with would be that we just don’t care about if it gets done or not. The bottom line would be, we cannot do anything personally about procrastination until we are cognizant of its’ existence.
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