Have you ever put off something that you needed to do today? Sure you have. Haven’t we all? Many of us, in our very busy lives, occasionally get lazy, lethargic, and just plain tired of doing all that we have to do. If a task seems daunting enough, we might just put it off for as long as we can until the deadline for getting it done hits us in the face. This, of course, is called “Procrastination”. What we need to realize is, if the P-word becomes chronic for us, it could spell disaster for our lives and career’s and our success.
Procrastination researcher, Dr. Gail Saltz says, “Procrastinators tend to feel extremely stressed, more so than those who put things off occasionally.” She is talking about “chronic procrastinators”. A survey of 300 college students who confessed to being procrastinators, said they would rather donate blood that write an assigned paper. Almost a third said they would rather visit a dentist and others said they would rather pick up trash on campus than write their papers. The female procrastinators and the males suffered from great anxiety because of their procrastination and the women even felt guilty. So says Dr. Saltz.
Most experts on the subject, who were late getting this information in to me for this article, say there are psychological reasons that people use to justify their procrastinating ways. For example:
There is the Fear of failure. If they think they might fail in the end result, they reason that it would be better not even to try to get it done.
The fear of success is prevalent as well. If they do get IT done, others may envy them and think they are a nerd and not like them anymore.
Some put things off, such as assignments and tasks because they do not like to be told what to do by authority figures.
Some put things off because they are just not interested.
Others put things off till the last minute because they actually THRIVE on the pressure of the deadline. I have lawyer friends like that and radio friends who do that as well.
Then there are those who just hate to make decisions and hate new things, so they never get a Round Tuit.( Around to it).
Finally, you may have just decided to be a Loser. People do make that decision every day although it is a bad choice.
I have always been the sort of person who wants to get things done. When my bills come in, I pay them right away. When I have an appointment, I like to be there at least 30 minutes early. When I have a program to present, I like to prepare myself ahead of time so that I can relax when I am at the function and concentrate on the presentation. About the only thing I put off is my income tax preparation because like to hold on to my money as long as I can. I do that on purpose. But for those of you who procrastinate and want to change, who want to create their own success and not sabotage their business and private lives, I have a few tips on how to Stop Procrastinating. Here they are:
- Make a list of things you need to do
- Prioritize your list.
- Check off each task when you get it done.
- Begin to gain confidence in yourself to “do what you need to do.”
- Be thorough. Begin promptly, and finish a task before moving to another.
- Remember the old adage, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Get it done. DO IT NOW.
- After you get yourself on track, begin to help others to not procrastinate.
My mother used to give me great advice. She would always have little sayings That always seemed to resonate inside me at appropriate times. Sayings like, “The early bird gets the worm”, “don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”, “Do all you can today, and do the rest tomorrow,” “Be like Nike, Just do it”, “do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it again later”, and “One never knows, does one?” Those sayings were cute, clever, and instructive. Positive self talk seems to help me not procrastinate. Follow these rules for “Not Procrastinating” for 30 days and they just might become ingrained in your psyche. Don’t sabotage your Success by putting off till tomorrow, what you need to do today. You can do it. Remember, do IT now, whatever it is!