Procrastination is not inherently evil. There may be benefits to procrastination. Before ending procrastination for good, make sure you understand why you are delaying in the first place.
Why do we procrastinate?
No commitment. You realize after waiting a period of time that you aren’t fully committed to the goal. Better to know before you spend hours and hours on it, then abandon it.
Bad idea. It may be that you realize it’s a bad idea or that there is another way to accomplish something.
Too many goals. Maybe you put it aside in favor of something else or you have competing priorities.
Laziness. You look at your last week and realize that you have no excuse. You are just lazy. A sloth.
Exhaustion. You are physically and mentally spent doing other things, and you don’t start because your tank is running on empty.
Fear of failure. By not starting, you don’t finish and therefore reduce your risk of failure. After all, if you finish, everyone will see the end result and judge it. Rather than risk that, you never begin.
Photo by Fellowship of the Rich on flickr.
People seem to be motivated by one of two forces. Either toward or against.
Both can be equally powerful motivators, but one seems to last.
Why are you in motion?
When I interview people for a job, I often ask questions about how the individual made career decisions. Some job changes were motivated by moving AWAY from something—a bad boss, a negative work environment, low pay. Other people make a change to move TOWARD something—a new opportunity, the ability to make a bigger impact, a better use of talent.
Though it’s not scientific validation, I’ve found that the people moving TOWARD the new opportunity are more successful, happier, and continue on an upward career path. These people are energized by the future, by what’s to come, by what’s possible.
Contrast that with the people moving AWAY from a job. It seems that the very same things that they didn’t like about the one job magically seemed to follow them to the next!
Moving TOWARD is more powerful than moving AWAY.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/azndc.
Hanging in the family room of my childhood home was a needlepoint that my oldest sister carefully crafted. It was a picture of eight owls on a tree limb, and underneath had the words “there’s always room for one more.” That saying was almost a family mission statement. My parents decided to open the family home to anyone who had a need. Some people would live with us for years and became as close as another sibling. Others would stay a night or two, needing help with a problem or a place to sleep. I have many interesting stories and experiences from this unique way to grow up. I learned more about people and perspective than I could have imagined. I learned to respect individuals as they were. The problem that brought someone to our doorstep didn’t define them, and neither did their race or religion.