Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The Greatest Thief Of All Time - Part II
Although it’s quite obvious that every action has a reaction, it’s a little less obvious that every in-action also has a re-action. It is not just what you do that makes the difference in your life, but also what you fail to do. Procrastination is that strange (lack of) behaviour where you want to do something, but still you don’t
It is natural to avoid things that are unpleasant, tiring, difficult or anxiety provoking. Although it is natural and understandable, procrastination is the greatest threat faced by most aspiring successes. Procrastination will poison your productivity and maim your chances for tenure. It is the virulent disease that annihilates success. You need to get yourself inoculated from it
This habit chips away at the life you COULD be living, right now. It stifles your potential to make the money you deserve... it holds you back from enjoying rewarding personal relationships... And it prevents you from achieving your true potential! Can you even put a price on the opportunities and potential this bad habit is holding you back from -- right now? Of course not! Because your goals and dreams are priceless!
Can you remember the relief you experienced the last time you completed something that took forever to get done? "That wasn't so bad after all," is usually the sentiment. Procrastination is a habit, not a fatal flaw. It takes persistence to change, but you can do it.
So, why do people (you and I) procrastinate?
Cause and Effect #1: The Fear Of Failure
The fear of failure is a major cause for procrastination. In fact, all forms of procrastination have some kind of fear at its roots. The fear of failure is a common fear that we all share. As human beings, we are not designed to fail. We are designed to consistently progress and improve. This fear then keeps you locked up in procrastination as a way of keeping you from failing. The effect of this form of procrastination then is quite obvious: failure to utilize opportunities. If you don’t act on opportunities they aren’t really opportunities are they? It is never a case of whether opportunity is knocking, but rather a case of whether you are acting on this opportunity and utilizing it.
Cause and Effect #2: Feeling Overwhelmed
We all have a limited mental and emotional capacity. Just like your physical capacity, you have a limit to what you can take on at any given time, and only you know what that limit is. When you overload yourself physically, your body usually breaks down in some form or another. When you overload yourself mentally and emotionally, your mind will intervene, usually in the form of procrastination, to keep you from a ‘mental overload’. The effect of this form of procrastination is that you start to avoid tasks, especially the important ones that you know you ‘must’ do.
Cause and Effect #3: Postponing Important Tasks
Procrastinators are actively seeking out diversions, not because they are lazy, but because at some level they fear the task that they are avoiding. By postponing a task you actually ‘lie’ to yourself. Instead of giving up or quitting – all you are doing is to make yourself feel a little better by saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. By postponing important tasks, you postpone important results. Remember that for every cause there is an effect and when you postpone the actions you also postpone the results.
Cause and Effect #4: Perfectionism
A type of erroneous thinking that leads to procrastination is perfectionism. Thinking that you must do the job perfectly the first try will likely prevent you from ever getting started. Believing that you must do something perfectly is a recipe for stress, and you'll associate that stress with the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it. You then end up putting the task off to the last possible minute, so that you finally have a way out of this trap. Now there isn't enough time to do the job perfectly, so you're off the hook because you can tell yourself that you could have been perfect if you only had more time. But if you have no specific deadline for a task, perfectionism can cause you to delay indefinitely. If you've never even started that project you always wanted to do really well, could perfectionism be holding you back?
Cause and Effect #5: Poor Time Management
Procrastination means not managing time wisely. You may be uncertain of your priorities, goals and objectives. You may also be overwhelmed with the task. As a result, you keep putting off things for a later date.
Do you know any other cause/ effect of Procrastination that I have not mentioned above? Please feel free to share…before I take you through the practical steps to break free from this habit.
Stay on right on top! That's where you belong!