Procrastination: a word we are all familiar with. I could talk about it some other time, but then I’d be procrastinating. I’d be avoiding the point I’m trying to make, so I’ll just make it loud and clear. We cannot wait to address the important issues in life. Your time on this earth is limited and can be taken from you at a moments notice. Time is the biggest enemy because it tricks us into thinking that tomorrow, or the next day or next year, we can finally start. But it’s also the biggest friend if we can use it purposefully.
Procrastination is a part of life. We all procrastinate at one point or another. The jeopardy of procrastination that I’m trying to convey isn’t so much about a science project due tomorrow or a credit card bill due next week. I’m talking about the BIG apple. The crème dela crème. That one thing which we all have that’s constantly nagging at our conscience, refusing to go away. It’s the important question that we don’t want to ask ourselves. Why do we wait and wait and wait to face our deepest fears and insecurities?
Because we think that as time passes, it will go away. Or that next year, we can deal with it when we’re ready. It’s this idea that we will deal with things when we’re ready. We trick ourselves into thinking that if we have a little more of this or a little more of that, then it may go away, or then we will be ready. But aren’t we already ready? We’re breathing. We’re alive. Do you think Thomas Edison thought he was ready to invent the light bulb? No! He failed over 10,000 times before he got it right. There was a snowball’s chance in hell that he would succeed. But he did, because he knew he would never be “ready” and so he tried over and over again. How can anyone ever be ready for something that has never happened? You’re reading this, which means you’re ready. In a way, we’re never actually ready for anything, which means we are as ready as can be. You can only be so ready to do something for the first time.
Facing your fears and persevering through procrastination has both sweet and sour fruits. Let’s first take a look at the sour stuff, because the longer you push away this gnawing gut feeling, the deeper you will have to dig to finally face the source.
The Sour stuff
Avoiding the question or problem that eats away at you isn’t pretty, yet you’ve known its been there for a long time. Alas, by deciding to stare it straight in the face, there is nowhere to run. It can be difficult to look at, as emotions may surface when you truly feel what it is that you’ve been suppressing. It’s no longer the fear of it because it’s the actual “it” now. It hurts and takes vulnerability to openly accept what was and what is. Stark realizations may be swimming through your mind and you feel the effects of the months or years that you’ve been concealing your emotions. It’s this realization that you need to make a change or fully feel a dark part of your past that’s been gnawing away at you. But when you do this, you create space for…
The Sweet Stuff
The release of emotions that have been tucked away is like a 200-pound weight being lifted off your shoulders. It’s a liberation of the mind. You can finally take a full breath without any lingering feelings. You’re not bullshitting yourself anymore. You’ve felt the pain for all that it is. This process has now infused you with the clarity to move forward. By pushing past procrastination, you’ve strengthened your willpower.
Procrastination is simply avoiding something we don’t want to do or face—in other words, something that makes us uncomfortable. NYT best selling author Tim Ferris states, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” I would also agree that uncomfortable experiences help us grow and gain personal “success.” Therefore, procrastination can be viewed as a way to avoid facing the uncomfortable circumstances that will ultimately help us. At the end of the day, we’re going to procrastinate on some things—that is inevitable. However, on the important matters in life, it’s important to persevere past procrastination. By dealing with significant issues as they arise, we can clear our conscious, prevent issues from turning into problems and attain peace of mind.
Is there something you’ve been avoiding that needs to be addressed? Don’t wait any longer! Embrace the discomfort, feel the fear, and do it anyway! Time is of the essence, and you deserve the benefits of facing your fears and moving past procrastination.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.