As a person who tends to procrastinate, I believe the title of this chapter should read… “Why worry about doing something today, when there is all next week.” I honestly believe that it is inaccurate to classify one’s self as a procrastinator, we can procrastinate, but we can’t label ourselves a procrastinator. I think that labeling one’s self as a procrastinator gives that person an excuse to take away personal responsibility, “I can’t get things done because I am a procrastinator.” Now if a person who is visually impaired said “I run into things because I am blind.” That is a different story all together, he doesn’t choose to be visually impaired, and doesn’t have the ability to decide when and where he is visually impaired, but running into things is the result of being without sight. But the person who believes that he is a procrastinator can’t use the same logic. “I can’t get things done because I am a procrastinator.” Does that mean he has no choice? Not getting things done is the result of being a procrastinator? Does this person not dry off when he is done taking a bath, does all of her teeth fall out because she can’t get her teeth brushed, does the persons’ family starve to death because they can’t finish cooking the family meal, all procrastinators are unemployed because they can’t get up in the morning? No, even procrastinators have the ability to get certain things done when they have a deep enough sense of priority to do so.
How do we deal with procrastination? Let me start counting the number books that I have on my shelves that have to do with procrastination…I will do it later, but rest assured that there a more than five. I have been troubled with a tendency to not be able to get things done, I have even called myself a procrastinator, but I have realized that the label is incorrect. I can get things done when I want to. I can keep a meticulously perfect yard, a weed free garden, a clean vehicle when I make the choice to do so. I even quit smoking, glad I didn’t put that off. All the self-help books in the world will not break you of a lack of motivation, even a lack of self-regulation. “I promise, I will stop procrastinating just as soon as I finish this book on procrastination.”
Let me mention a few things that might help lessen the tendency to procrastinate. Firstly, the right mindset every day can be a great tool. Let me take a moment to mention a great place to get your mind set right, The Seven Mindsets www.7mindsets.com/ here is a great place to find out more information and get some suggestions to help you turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts, it is definitely worth a look. Next, a good means of planning. I recommend using David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” as a great tool. I am sure that there are many other wonderful methods that you can find to help you lessen your tendency to procrastinate, find one, or a combination of methods that fit your needs. Just remember this, these are tools, not miracles. You have to work the systems to get them to work for you.
Let me go back to when I said that any job worth doing is worth doing well. If you are faced with a job that needs to be done, whether you will enjoy it or not, the job still deserves your best effort. Try to remember that we “get” to go to work each day, and we “get” to receive a paycheck every payday. We have to see the value in a day’s wages, we have to do our best or we have to let someone else do it. Don’t worry, if you don’t perform up to your ability and even surpass it from time to time, the job will always be there, it’s just very likely that someone else will be doing it.
Tomorrow will come with its own chores that need tending to and if we add todays chores to tomorrows, we only make a bigger pile of stuff that needs to be taken care of. Why not do what needs to be done today and maybe we can even find a little time to whittle off a piece of tomorrows work and make for a real feeling of progress. What is the easy solution to procrastination? There isn’t one, just keep trying and as Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.” I have been telling you all along that nothing is easy it takes work but remember, “I can get things done today if I want to, and if I want to, I can get things done…today!”