Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!
– Charles Dickens
Procrastination has been a friend of mine for a number of years, ever since I was a little girl. When I procrastinate I don’t seem to get far in my life.
The fact being, if I want to get somewhere, procrastination needs to become a long, lost friend that I only see every once in a while, not daily.
I’ve learned tricks and gimmicks to “collar” my procrastination: using a timer, daring myself to do it, telling someone else I’m going to do it, or bribing myself.
Another gimmick is to know what’s fueling my procrastination.
Well, for me, it’s fear.
Asking myself questions can give me insight into my fear, and can allow me to challenge my fear’s validity. Questions like: Why am I afraid? or What am I afraid of?
Then I can ask myself if I want to follow the path my fear is leading me down. Is that really where I want to go?
Amazingly enough, one of my greatest fears is success itself.
At one time, I thought beating myself up (mentally, that is) would work into my not procrastinating so much. This turned out to not work at all; actually, the opposite of what I wanted happened—I procrastinated even more.
But the real kicker was, and still is: Why would I want to miss out on my life? Any aspect of it?
From what I know today, the breath I breathe now is mine, but it won’t last forever. Someday I will breathe my last breath, and, on that day, will I remember what I did or what I procrastinated over and didn’t do?
I want to populate my story with love and laughter, grand mountains and curvy roads, delectable food and robust coffee, indispensable books and great sex. I want to be regret-less.
Of course, there’s more than all that, like the little moments that add up to me being me, that build a picture of kindness and generosity, and that show I can follow through, honor my word not only to others but to myself as well.
But this procrastination of mine doesn’t just encompass those things I want to do and am not yet doing. It also envelopes those undesirable tasks that no one wants to do.
My gimmicks and tricks work on those too, like cleaning the house when I don’t want to. I can pop the timer on, say fifteen minutes, clean like a mad woman, and then give myself another fifteen minutes do something I want to do. Then repeat said scenario.
Before I know it I’m done cleaning, and I don’t feel like I just cleaned all day. And really, why would I want to be weighed down by the guilt of not cleaning or whatever it is that I’m trying not to do? Or have that guilt consume my thoughts so much that I can’t do anything else?
Sometimes life requires difficult action, that is the way of it—it isn’t personal, and I’m definitely not unique.
Today, I’m willing to enliven my story, enrich it with following through and adventurous activity; after all, it’s the only one I get.