I walked past a billboard with the message, “Don’t give up, tomorrow is another day”. Thinking through deeply, I realised there were two sides to this statement; both negative and positive. Indeed, tomorrow always provides another opportunity to try again if you don’t succeed the first time. On the other hand, tomorrow can become the fence you sit on for the rest of your life. It is called Procrastination.
Whenever you put off to tomorrow what should be done today, you are procrastinating. Although putting things off for later in itself is not bad, you are in for trouble when it becomes a habit. Whenever you procrastinate, the world moves on with or without you.
Procrastination is like a snail, making you crawl in life. Just like the snail which is “slow but sure”, you may get to your destination but at a cost. By the time you get there, opportunities would have been missed and life would have passed you by, to some extent.
Becoming a procrastinator is a gradual process; it starts with one little delay that could have been avoided and then…you end up missing a deadline. Before you know it, this habit begins to run through your life like ripples through water and then in the end, you hang your head like a dying flower.
Procrastination is a snake—slippery cunning and deceptive. Never exchange pleasantries with procrastination if she can be avoided! Her jokes are like flat soda, surprisingly unpleasant! She stands at the corner of the streets and calls out to you, “Come on my darling. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll always have tomorrow”. In our ignorance, we run with this thought…” I can always start tomorrow”. Tomorrow could become NEVER.
Her opinions carry a lot of weight in your life if you allow her and before you know it, opportunities are blown away like a candle in the wind. When procrastination becomes your mentor in life, you will be stuck! Stagnation is the fruit of procrastination.
Why do we procrastinate? Well, there are three main reasons—no four or countless reasons. In my long-short life (depending on the angle from which you’re looking at it), I have encountered four: fear, laziness, perfectionism and poor time management.
A pinch of fear is needed to take calculated risks but when gulped down like water, fear becomes an albatross. We need to understand that the new road to freedom passes through the valley of death. You need to push no matter what because delay in this case is denial. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Laziness is the breeding ground of procrastination. When you are being lazy, you will always be waiting for the perfect time to start. When you sit down with folded arms waiting for the perfect time, nothing moves. You need to learn to put in more effort by taking the first step even if it is a baby step because a journey of a thousand miles would always begin with a single step.
Trying to be perfect all the time is like duelling with hand grenades. You will never win. It is good to strive for perfection but don’t let it stop you from trying. You can spend a whole lifetime planning your dream but never really living it because you wanted to get everything right from start to finish. Take the first step even when it doesn’t feel perfect.
Time flies like an arrow. Procrastination has no sense of time. The truth is, time will always not be on your side if you don’t learn to manage it. To manage your time well, you need two best friends; planning and discipline. With these two, you are sure to succeed.
“I’ll start taking French lessons in August,” says the procrastinator. August arrives quickly. “Oh no! I don’t have the time now; I’ll start in September”. Alas! September is already here! “French lessons on hold till December”
“Okay I give up. It’s not that important after all”. French lessons cancelled. Now that’s procrastination personified right there.
You need to take action now or your future could become a mirage. With procrastination, you could spend your entire life postponing your dreams and settling for mediocrity. Procrastination can reduce you to a mouse; instead of rising high above like an eagle, you are left nibbling within your comfort zone because you failed to make that move.
To overcome procrastination, you need to be very stable in your mind that you are going to try no matter what and you are going to do it now…even if you are afraid. Discipline is also key because without it you cannot achieve much. Above all, you need to tap into your ultimate source of power, God. It is good to believe in yourself but that is not enough. Would you rather take your Toyota car to Japan motors for servicing instead of Toyota Ghana? I don’t think so. The best solutions to your problems can only come from the one who created you.
Before I sign out, let me leave you with this quote from Darius Foroux, “Only delay things when you’ll do a better job with that extra time. Do it now, or do it better later”.