I am a procrastinator. I put things off for another time, always hoping that the will to do it will magically manifest itself.
One of two things happen. Either I am eventually forced to act because not to do so would be highly problematic. Or I let the opportunity pass by and convince myself it never really mattered anyway.
Neither alternative is good. The only thing that helps cut through the cycle of procrastination is honesty with myself. However little I feel like doing the task I have set myself today, I am highly unlikely to feel more motivated tomorrow.
In my procrastination, the lie I always fall for is that it will be easier tomorrow. It won’t!
Putting off the awkward conversation or the taxing task doesn’t make it easier – in fact the opposite is true. The longer it sits in my mental radar, the more difficult it seems. It takes on a life of its own and slowly saps energy from my being.
On the white board in my office I have written the phrase ‘Don’t go for minimum energy output – go for minimum fatigue inducement’. It is this distinction that helps me overcome procrastination. Minimum energy output says – conserve your energy today, tomorrow will be better. In other words it gives a reason to procrastinate. Minimum fatigue inducement does the opposite – I know that when I put things off they slowly eat at me; leaching energy from my being.
I wish that having that note on my board was sufficient motivation to stop procrastinating. Sometimes it helps, often it doesn’t. But I hope that each time I manage to attend to something timeously that the next time will be a little easier.