If you are postponing doing something you either don’t like to do it or you don’t have a strong enough reason to do it!
Someone I know reached out yesterday wanting to know how to beat procrastination. He said he often finds that he’s postponing what he wants to do. And watching someone else do the same thing with ease makes him feel guilty.
Honestly, procrastination is a demon that we all have to deal with and conquer at some time – or at several times – in our Life. It is an intensely personal conflict and can be overcome only by a deeper understanding of who you are and what you love doing and, important, what you don’t like to do.
I have understood that there are only two reasons why you postpone doing something – from laundry to paying bills to writing poetry to reviewing your career to enrolling for a skill-development program or starting a gym routine. The first reason is that you simply don’t like doing that something. Now who wants to do laundry or work out for an hour everyday if you can avoid it. But when you can’t avoid something, you must just get down to doing it before it becomes both urgent and important. If you let it remain undone or incomplete, one day it will blow up in your face. That’s the risk you run with procrastinating over stuff that you can’t avoid doing. The other reason why you postpone doing something is because you don’t have a deeper reason for doing it. These often apply to longer-term Life decisions. For example, if you are a good writer and love writing, yet if you are unable to get started, it means there is nothing compelling about your writing that drives you to write. People ask me how I manage to blog daily – I have been doing it for more than 6 years now, on the trot: first on my school group, then on Facebook and now, in addition, on this Blog. I manage to create time to write daily because I am driven by a sense of purpose to “awaken people to the opportunity called happiness – to tell them that they can indeed be happy despite their circumstances.” So, I don’t write to just satiate a desire to express myself. I write to share my learnings so that somehow, somewhere, a reader may find a connect and value in what I have to say.
The only way to deal with procrastination is to have conversations with yourself. Don’t beat yourself over it ever. That’s not the way to deal with it. Examine all that you postpone. If there’s stuff that you don’t like to do, and can avoid doing, then don’t do it. Simple. There’s no scope for grief here. If there’s stuff you hate but can’t avoid, develop a process – and attitude – to get it done. Again, don’t grieve, don’t rant. Just do it. And if there’s stuff you love doing and yet you postpone – because you are too starved for time or motivation or both – then ask yourself why you should be doing this in the first place. If you find no “why” forthcoming, then set the activity aside. Do it whenever you can. Again, no need to feel angtsy or guilty about it. If you can give yourself a compelling reason – the “why” – to do what you love doing, then use that “why” to drive you to doing it. The bottomline is this: if you know yourself better and if you know why you must do what you must do, you will stop procrastinating! And, important, that’s one way you can stop postponing ‘your’ happiness!