After a week away it is now time to get back to work. With my corrections sill not quite done and my deadline an hour away I feel a little bit under pressure. However it really is my own fault, I had a plan and didn’t stick to it leaving me slightly breathless and with red ink stains on my hands.
My problem is procrastination, I seem to spend so much time on thinking on how I am going to do something instead of actually doing it. I know many people “suffer” from this time-consuming condition but only few seem to be able to conquer it on along term basis.
So to try and understand a little bit more about my p-problem I decided to take a closer look at what it is that keeps me doing the task at hand. (And yes, in true procrastinator fashion it distracted me from my real work).
While most of us believe procrastination is a part of our inner makeup it actually isn’t, it’s learned behaviour making it possible to change, even if it does take a considerable amount of willpower. I also discovered that most of us aren’t TRUE procrastinators. While we think we are our real problem is time-management, we can’t seem to estimate the correct time we need to do certain things nor do we keep a manageable to-do-list.
According to a list done up by the De Paul University in Chicago there are five little lies a true procrastinator tells themselves, believing them, unable to ignore that powerful inner voice:
- Working when you don’t feel like it doesn’t give you good results
- If you don’t feel like doing something you won’t be able to do it
- Motivation is something you will feel tomorrow, or the next day or the day after
- You need a lot less time then you do to do something (underestimate)
- You have lots of time left to do something (overestimate)
And while these lies seem quite flimsy they are very successful from keeping someone from doing something they need to be doing and they also cover up the real reason procrastinators distract themselves. Most procrastinators have an inner most fear of failure and somehow they believe by not doing something they can’t fail, and when they do something rushed they know why it had to fail, diverting the fault away from themselves and really a self-fulfilling prophesy.
The only way to solve this problem is hard work, realistic expectations and a willingness to change. Of course being honest is key, honest with ourselves, with our time, our capabilities and goals.
So if I am honest, I am working on a last minute deadline but then like American author Rita Mae Brown once so aptly put it:
If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done