“Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline.”
It’s time to bring on table the procrastination. Procrastination is something I do, you do and probably everyone done in their life. 2022 is the year for me so far when getting things done what I delayed for a long time – and on a hard way… I found now more important to write about this topic and I intend to encourage you to start doing the tasks, you put away for a long time.
Most of us have the habit of putting away things we know we should do but it is not giving us much joy to do. It remains on our to-do list and we justify ourselves, “yes, I will start it when the right time comes.” But that time may not come or when it comes, you have no option any more you start it or not, you HAVE TO start it, sometimes in a much difficult circumstance.
There are two types of people. The people who have no list of to-dos, who flow in life like in a river, dealing with tasks as they come, mostly only with the most necessary ones. And there are people, who have plans in life, tasks to achieve those plans, who get things done much more organised. It takes an enormous effort to belong to the second group of people; do every day tasks from the to-do list, tasks what the ordinary people never would get done.
“To live the life only 5% live, have the courage to dream the dreams, run the habits, and model the behaviours only 5% do.”– Robin Sharma
Even if belong to the second type of people (like me), it is not enough putting things into your calendar, you must execute them! This is when procrastination comes to picture. To achieve your dreams, you must take certain steps those are uncomfortable and easier just to skip or delay. It is an ongoing battle with our disciple. Please allow me to share my most recent story that I feel a good example.
Almost 3 years ago we purchased a land with a house as a refurbishment project; to make it our base to return after long journeys. Back at that time, life was “normal” (pre-covid, pre-war in Ukrain), including “normal” prices. We started to replace the roof but the first attempt has failed as we ran into some cowboy builders. After this experience, took us 7 months to start it all over. Then Covid hit us and we focused our energy more on traveling, sorting out our tax residency. I remember asking my wife on a pool side in South America, next year I do not want to continue the refurbishment, just want to relax, enjoy the life and forget about the building project a little. I, we knew it is a must complete project but we decided to postpone it for a year. We did complete some small tasks meanwhile but to be honest, we shouldn’t have postponed the whole project. We have set a date in our calendar last summer, ok, March of 2022 when we start this refurbishment with full power. A week before we planned starting the project, the war started in Ukraine…fear and disappointment filled us. What to do now? Is it the right time to start a refurbishment? Shall we postpone again? We asked ourselves 100s of times, why didn’t we get more tasks done when the circumstances were ideal?!
Now, we get things right, that takes an enormous effort. We gave us 4 months in an environment when there is a shortage in building material, both cost of material and craftsmanship are sky high. We decided still doing it! But wouldn’t have been easier to do this project when the economical environment was kind of ideal? We have to deal now with the consequences of our procrastination. Remember, procrastination may brings you new barriers in the journey of reaching your goal, you must keep this in your mind. We pay now the price for delaying and having fun last year. Laziness can cost you money, a lot!
You have to be determined. You must put things into your calendar that you know, has to be implemented, as an important part of your goal. Then execute it without any delay. Even when you are tired, reach to your spare resources (if have any) and get that task done. You need discipline, daily, strong disciple to do it.
Personally, I use Google Calendar on my phone for years. You can put a reminder scheduled for a certain day and time that is reminding you to implement a task. Or you can put an event, if it is a longer, hours/days long task. A very powerful and simple tool.
For example, a week ago I put a reminder to my calendar for tonight to write this post. The idea of this post was born a week ago but I knew, I am a busy guy nowadays and allowed myself to schedule the writing of this post on an evening when I have no distraction. It came with sacrifices; a new friend invited me for an event tonight but I rather decided I must write this post now or it has to wait an other week until I find a time for it again! And there is no time for excuses.
“The things that get scheduled are the things get done.“– Robin Sharma
When putting to-dos to you calendar, important to be realistic, do not overload yourself and ruin your motivation by adding too much entries and failing to accomplish because you just have no time or energy. Usually I have 1-3 entries in my Calendar for a day, maximum 5.
When you fail to complete a task, accept that and simply schedule it to the next (closest) available date when you know, you can complete it. Don’t make the mistake you keep postponing it day after day. If you can, commit to complete it for the first attempt. For that 3rd time you postpone your task, say “That’s enough, I do it NOW and not later!” – think about the consequences, what issues keep postponing can cause you (can you afford it?).
Why be so “organised”? Because procrastination will prevent you reaching your goals, you will stuck where you are. Learn from my mistake above, learn from your own mistakes in the past!
Lastly, it cause me deep feeling of satisfaction marking my tasks “Complete” by the end of the evening. For a strong mindset you need small successes every day. So getting things done in the scheduled time are not just helping you reaching your goal sooner but giving you those daily wins you need to keep going strong.
Create a new habit by being more organised, be more disciplined and focused. Be a Hero of your Life!