So the concept of time management really should be Self Management. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s turn on our creative mindset for just a minute and imagine that we all had the ability to pause time. Can you for a second imagine what the world would be like today? I am picturing a world where many of the things we see and enjoy today would never have been made. Many tasks would actually never get accomplished and many geniuses would have remained mere men. So the problem has never been time, it has always been you (and me, of course!) When we do not enjoy what we do, as is the case most of the time, it usually takes an extra amount of discipline to push ourselves to do and complete it. Passion makes us want to keep at something until it is done but how often are we passionate about our daily tasks? How many of us reading this are actually passionate about our jobs and not just seeing it as what we do to put food on the table? Okay, here’s the catch and here’s what we are probably missing; when you leave until later what you can do now, especially on our jobs we tend to put ourselves under pressure later on; the “fire fighting” approach, something Albert Einstein tried to teach us decades ago. But procrastination is deadly in ways we probably haven’t imagined, here are my top three ways:
- Procrastination reduces the quality of your life: as implied earlier on, time can be an invaluable asset or a tool for our destruction, the outcome depends on the user. Everyone is given the same amount of time in a day – 24 hours – and often the most successful of us are those who, among other things make judicious use of their time. We tend to associate a good or successful life with goals achievement and goals achievement can seriously be barred by procrastination. The human nature is designed in such a way that most challenges tend to leave us better than they found us, in other words, if you’re postponing certain tasks just because of how challenging it is, you’re probably postponing your chances of turning out better. And most times, you’ll realize that if it’s tough or challenging then it’s probably loaded with potential too. It is also probably very important. There is something about the achievement of set goals no matter how small, that creates an unmatched feeling of success. And the best time to achieve a new goal is always right after you achieve the previous one because you are most likely still fired up with inspiration from the last victory. Show me a man who sets goals and achieve them in due course and I will show you a successful person. Show me someone who procrastinates set goals and I will show you a stagnant, unhappy and unfulfilled person. In a more practical sense, a procrastinator will wake up one day on his 70th birthday, unhappy, poor and tired only to realize he has spent 40 years of his life watching TV or doing some other unimportant stuffs when he really should have been building the future. Trust me, you don’t want to be that man.
- Procrastination kills opportunities, dead!: Yep! You know what they say about opportunity lost, right? That stuff is true. It’s like trying to wake a dead man. If you lose it, you most likely won’t get it back. Especially not if you lost it giving yourself a thousand and one reasons why you don’t need to do the hard work of preparation yet. Success has often been defined as opportunities meeting preparation. It’s a formula that won’t work with any of the elements missing and procrastination removes the preparation from the equation.
- Procrastination lies to you about time: imagine a person sick with cancer, having less than two months to live and having their doctor lie to them about the amount of time left. Imagine this patient’s doctor telling them that the disease is a minor one and that they have their whole life in front of them… Procrastination does exactly that most times. Its keeps convincing you that there will be plenty of time to do that important task until reality appears right in front of you, and then it’s probably too late. The truth is, time is almost always not enough and the acknowledgement of this fact matched with action breeds success.
Now, when talking about procrastination I do not mean the act of prioritizing your tasks and postponing to a much later time the less important ones. By procrastination I mean the very act of postponing the important tasks for the less important ones due to laziness and all the other reasons that come with it. In my probably restricted thinking, there is only one remedy to procrastination – like Nike, just do it!
I am sure there are a thousand and one other ways procrastination sets us back, I would very much like to hear from you. Please feel free to drop comments.