Delay and procrastination are the most common success killers – if you are happy to fail in any aspect of your life, start by avoiding today what needs to be done. Whatever you have a task, do it today!
Many of the students I coach suffer from procrastination, and we spend time exploring the related questions “Why not start now?”, And “If not now, what is the price you will have to pay?”. The problem over the price of not starting now is critical. If you do not spend time now on an important task, could you be leaving yourself a mountain to climb when you do eventually start? At that time, you will probably have new and other urgent tasks to work. This can equally apply at home, in your social life as well as at work.
- Delaying having a critical conversation can destroy relationships. Are you avoiding apologizing for a mistake you have made?
- Not starting an exercise or diet regime today can seem a zero-impact decision. But what about if you also delay tomorrow or the day after.
Someone told me that,
Procrastination is like a credit card: It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.
Be honest with yourself
Ask yourself, what is making you stop from doing something:
- Is it laziness on your part or do you do things at the last minute only when your back is against the wall?
- Do you not feel the task is essential and cannot motivate yourself to get started?
- Are you unsure how to complete the work or what to do first?
- Are you afraid that you would fail and the embarrassment that would follow?
Today push yourself to start something that you have been putting off.
- Break down the tasks into manageable bite-size pieces so that it seems achievable; after all, even large assignments are just made up of a series of small steps.
- Decide how many steps you can achieve today.
- Give yourself a goal for tomorrow and the next day.
If in doubt …
Whatever your reasoning for procrastinating, ask yourself which is worse:
- Dealing with the momentary discomfort, anxiety, and stress that comes with biting the bullet and starting; or
- Dealing with the fallout of delaying doing something including the impact on your reputation, credibility and trustworthiness – and the effect on others who are waiting for you to do something?
In other words, is it worth putting off tomorrow what you can do today? If in doubt, you better start now.