Lately, I’ve been thinking about procrastination; postponing important tasks indefinitely. Why is it such a common thing for people to do? Some argue that if you wait until the last minute it only takes a minute to complete, not everyone feels that way. Some people have to sit down and take their time to complete a task. Many people need to be in a particular type of environment in order to complete certain things. Ultimately, procrastination stems from excuses. To be honest, I’m procrastinating on something at this very moment. By writing this post, I’ve postponed an activity for later on this evening.
There are 3 main reasons why we procrastinate, and they are: fear, complacency, and rebellion.
Have you ever had something that you just felt fearful of doing just because it seems so grand a task? This something would stay on your to-do list, but you would save it for last, or not do it at all. You would literally complete every other task before tackling that one task that makes you nauseous when you think about. I would call that procrastinating out of fear. It would usually be something tedious, or it would require a lot of time and effort. Difficult tasks can be completed by dissecting them into smaller more manageable ones that you can more easily handle. And tedious tasks can be completed while doing something you enjoy (like listening to music for instance).
Have you ever had something to do that you thought was just trivial and would not take much time at all, but you refused to do it? This type of procrastination is due to complacency. Complacency is one of the most troubling forms of procrastination due to the fact that simple, mundane pursuits are postponed. In order to overcome complacency, you must realize that all tasks, regardless of how small, are important. For instance, the body is made up of many parts both large and small. Each part is important for the proper function of the body. Let’s assume that one day your gall bladder, albeit small, decided to malfunction today. For one whole day your body would be incapable of secreting bile fluids, which would result in you being incapable of emulsifying fats in your digestive process. Could you imagine the effects that could have on your body. Imagine if the gall bladder were to malfunction for a week. Every part of the whole is important regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem; therefore, no task is trivial or insignificant. Treat every task on your to do list as a task of importance.
Everyone has had that one paper or assignment, whether it be in high school, college, or graduate school, that a professor that you absolutely regarded with the purest form of disdain assigned to you for completion. And everyone here knows that you would rather complete assignments for classes that you liked rather than for those that you just could not stomach. When you postpone completing that assignment for that stickler of a Quantum Physics professor that you wish would board Boeing’s CST-100 along with 6 of your enemies to a one way space launch to the innermost core of Mercury during it’s summer solstice, you are engaging in procrastination due to rebellion.
I am guilty of this. Sometimes the professor may not be the issue. At times people nag and bother (remind) you to do things to the point where you just postpone indefinitely. And it happens with complex as well as simple ones. Ultimately, people, especially during the 21st century, want to live and act on our on terms and on our on time; this is natural. My goal is to show you how to overcome procrastination, not how to rationalize it. When confronted with instances where you hold back from tackling something on your to-do list because of your disdain for a person, you should remember who you are actually harming. The only person you’re really harming is yourself. The person you hate may already have achieved the success you wish to achieve. There is no way to harm them in that regard by not doing what you know deep down you should do. Don’t let someone you dislike discomfort you more than your dislike for them has already discomforted you. Realize that you are responsible for you in the end, and you can not and should not blame others for where you are in life or for what you failed to do.