Procrastination happens for many different reasons. Some procrastinate because a particular task is tedious and unpleasant. Others procrastinate because they feel they aren’t “ready” to tackle whatever it is they need to do. Whatever the reasons, procrastination may occur because of the following:
Procrastination Diagnosis: “Am I a Dreamer?”
The inner and imaginary world can sometimes be a distraction. It’s intimate and familiar, boundless and grandiose but most importantly safe. The ideas and creations stored within the vault of our minds are free from criticism and not subject to the limits and boundaries of other people’s interpretations of the world. But here lies the danger of being a dreamer. Procrastination feeds on the inability to relinquish hold over plans, concepts, and opinions due to fear of rejection. We delay in manifesting it because it would no longer be safe in the comfort and cradle of our mind. This is probably no different to an overprotective parent refusing to let their child out into the world.
Solution: In order for dreamers to overcome procrastination, we must be willing to face the risk of rejection and turn our possibilities into realities anyway.
Procrastination Diagnosis: “Do I Have Analysis Paralysis?”
“Analysis Paralysis” is the overanalysing of a particular topic or subject to the extent that it stops you from taking action or making a decision. For example, a solution to a college assignment was to be derived using the coding language C++. Before beginning, I decided it was important to know what C++ was in order to get an overall context of how it worked. Then I decided to read up on the biography of the inventor of C++ and other programming languages. Before I knew it, I was deep within the chasm of how computers work and the future of technology. All of this had nothing to do with the original problem I was trying to solve. Researching all of this was just a diversion to delay beginning on a problem that I did not know how to tackle.
Solution: In order to overcome analysis paralysis, we must be willing to remain completely focused at the the task at hand and recognise and identify when distractions are preventing our productivity.
Procrastination Diagnosis: “Do I think there must be a Perfect Time?”
We need the stars and planets to be in perfect alignment in order to begin something important. For example, starting a workout routine must begin on a Monday. To miss Monday jeopardises a perfect start and an entire week of working out may result. Starting a book at 7:03 pm just doesn’t seem right. It must begin on the hour so best wait for 7:15, 7:30 or 8:00 pm. While these two exaggerated examples might seem a bit trivial, they have the potential of growing to more critical areas of ones life. For example, waiting until a certain time to start a new career. Or waiting for the perfect moment to start a relationship. The reality (and scientific fact) of the matter is, the planets will never be in perfect alignment. To wait for that, would be to wait indefinitely.
Solution: In order to overcome the “Perfect Time”, we must be willing to acknowledge that there is no “Goldylocks” moment and perhaps start small at whatever challenge awaits. The operative word being START.
Procrastination is something that can be overcome if we recognise why and when we are doing it. If you are procrastinating because of a fear of failure, remember this quote by Wayne Gretzky, the professional ice hockey player –
“You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.”