Procrastination is a big topic, and one that I’ve been challenged with pretty much my whole life, as long as I can remember. I’ll ALWAYS put things off until the very last minute. I get very overconfident about how “little” time I’ll need to complete things or get somewhere (yes, I’ve missed flights because of this).
In college, I would be the one cramming all night before a test after not studying the material the entire semester, or writing a 12-page paper the night before it was due.
And I write my blogs late at night. Like, 11pm every night lately. It’s currently 5:42pm as I begin to write, and I feel like a complete champion (although it’s 12:40am as I’m actually posting the updated/edited final draft of this post. Bah! Procrastination strikes again).
I’d love to chalk it up to “hey, I’m just an in-the-moment” person, why do something before it’s absolutely time to do it!? And yes, I do love the adrenaline hit of doing something under pressure (i.e. running to the gate to get onto my flight THE MOMENT before they close the doors…even better if the doors are closing and I manage to blast through and get to my seat…sweating, but with a huge smile of relief).
But truth be told, procrastinating does often make things more difficult. It simply isn’t always the wise thing to do – especially if your goal is feeling peaceful and getting things done efficiently.
I saw this quote today on my Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator. I could write an entire blog post about the Newsfeed Eradicator and why it’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made for my sanity. It removes your Facebook Newsfeed and just gives you a quote instead (and you can even enter your own quotes)! So this way, I can go to Facebook to post something or check my Healthy Crush page, or go to something specific I’m looking for on Facebook, without seeing the newsfeed and being hijacked by other people’s energy. This is a must for energy-sensitive people. :)
Anyway, this was today’s quote:
“Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.”
The truth is, being in action – any kind of action – will relieve overwhelm and procrastination.
Gabby always says, quoting Yogi Bhajan,
“When the time is on you, start – and the pressure will be off.”
Taking little actions is so key to procrastination. It always seems like the best idea to put things off until you can do it all at once, but those little things really add up.
I started today by posting a bunch of my furniture on craigslist…instead of waiting until the day before I move. Little actions will make life easier. Because…
“When we try to buy time by procrastinating, we condemn ourselves to running out of time.” -Bill Knaus
I liked this article on Why We Procrastinate from Psychology Today.
“There’s more than one flavor of procrastination. People procrastinate for different reasons.
- Arousal types, or thrill-seekers, who wait to the last minute for the euphoric rush.
- Avoiders, who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success, but in either case are very concerned with what others think of them; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.
- Decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision. Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.
Oh no, I think I’m the first type. Also the 3rd type.
The weirdest thing: When I started practicing Transcendental Meditation, I started to get to the airport on time, effortlessly. I would just naturally leave my apartment earlier and arrive at a time where everything went smoothly. It was the most noticeable difference I experienced from practicing TM. Isn’t that funny? Why did that happen? Is it because TM puts me in a state where I’m less likely to crave the adrenaline rush of being late?!
And this was a really interesting tidbit from the article…
“Procrastination predicts higher levels of consumption of alcohol among those people who drink. Procrastinators drink more than they intend to—a manifestation of generalized problems in self-regulation. That is over and above the effect of avoidant coping styles that underlie procrastination and lead to disengagement via substance abuse.
Here are some really interesting insights about emotional disturbances and procrastination and how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome it.
This book, Get Out Of Your Own Way (from 1996!) looks kind of awesome.
But seriously… tiny actions are better than no action. Even the smallest actions will get you, as they say in Landmark, “out of the stands, and onto the court.”
Take a tiny, wise action towards something you want…right now. And then…take another.