When you actually think about it, procrastination is a funny thing.
Not always. I mean, come on, it’s easy to put off doing certain things, things that are no fun. Like taxes. Cleaning. Flossing teeth. These are things we need to do, but it doesn’t mean we want to do them. It’s just part of the minutia of life.
But lately I’ve discovered I procrastinate on things I want to do. Huh. I want to lose weight. I want to pitch magazines. I want to start my book. But yet, tomorrow always seems like a better day for it. Why? In a word: fear.
Jon Acuff, the author of a book called Start. writes about this very topic. Please note: I am not promoting this book. I haven’t even read it, though I might, if I can take another self-help book (it does get some nice reviews). But I did see an interview with him and something he said has really stuck with me, “Any time you do something that matters, fear gets loud.” Indeed.
So when the stakes are high, so is the fear. Add to that the hard work involved in reaching your goal, and you have yourself two real reasons to put off what can be done today. But then there’s that other important truth, “Nothing good comes easy.” So if we procrastinate, if we don’t go after what we want-whatever that is-then what? We miss out on the richness of life. And we only get one life.
Only I can define what is important to me. And only I can kick procrastination in the rear. And this is a bummer, because I’d really love to be able to pay someone to do that for me.
This week, I did one thing to move forward: I made a decision to write for 2 hrs a day. I actually set the timer on my smart phone, and did not allow myself to get up, check email or answer the phone until the timer went off. And guess what? I made really good progress, surprised myself with how much work I got done.
So what’s the moral of the story? Ignore any negative thoughts, sit down to do the work, and progress will come. If nothing else, Jon Acuff has at least one thing right: the title of his book. OH and one disclaimer: in regards to the losing weight thing….well, nobody’s perfect!