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Procrastination: I've Put Off Writing This Post Too Long. LOL

Procrastination: I've Put Off Writing This Post Too Long. LOL

  • Comes back to bite you in the @ss like a rabid dog
  • Adds more work later on when you realize you needed to do the work earlier
  • At best, it just never gets done

Most of the time, Murphy's Law is in effect and I get bit in the @ass.

I'm Sick Of Having To Put Out Needless Fires Created By Procrastination

Consider the fact that for most people, Procrastination goes hand in hand with not fully thinking out what needs to be done. 

In most cases, people don't actually realize what kind of repercussions can surface when they do put off taking care of something.

proˈkrastəˌnā shun 

verb delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

Over the years, I've learned how to be very good at procrastinating about things I really don't want to do. I could put certain undesirable things off indefinitely. It's something that I've struggled with for as long as I can remember.

Right Now, Procrastination Is The Top Bad Habit I'm Crushing

Just about everyone can relate in some form or another to procrastinating over one thing or another. It could be a general disinterest in what needs to be done. It could also be the misplacement of priorities, but whatever the reason one can come up with to put off doing what needs to be done, the real truth is that it could result in one of the following unsavory outcomes:

  • Comes back to bite you in the @ss like a rabid dog
  • Adds more work later on when you realize you needed to do the work earlier
  • At best, it just never gets done

Most of the time, Murphy's Law is in effect and I get bit in the @ass.

I'm Sick Of Having To Put Out Needless Fires Created By Procrastination

Consider the fact that for most people, Procrastination goes hand in hand with not fully thinking out what needs to be done. 

In most cases, people don't actually realize what kind of repercussions can surface when they do put off taking care of something.

One personal example was when I had the task of cleaning out the garage.

During spring and summer (and fall) of 2016, I knew I needed to clean out the garage if I wanted to get my car in when winter hit.

It hung over my head for the most of the year, but I kept putting it off.

  • "It's too nice out"
  • "There's other things that are more important"
  • "I don't feel like doing it right now"
  • "It's raining"
  • "It's too hot"
  • etc...

I've used every excuse that I can come up with, including the ones above to not clean out the garage.

Inevitably It Happened...

The long summer days got shorter. It got cooler. Leaves began to fall... You probably can guess what happened next.

It Snowed, and guess where I was forced to park my car?

It was sitting outside in the snow because I'd procrastinated so long in cleaning out the garage for so long that now I couldn't get the car in when I wanted to.

Rather than having nice weather where I could clean and organize, I was forced to clean it out in freezing cold weather. 

My wife took pity and helped me out, but I felt additionally guilty for needing her help in addition to just not getting it done earlier when I could have done the work on my terms (Warm weather and a cold beer sounds great)!

Learning How To Stop Procrastinating In Two Steps

Like many crutches, you first have to acknowledge that procrastination is a problem for you. Learning how to identify procrastination takes a bit of work. I'll be the first to admit that I've had a very difficult time with this. You have to be able to see through the excuses that you make, both consciously and inadvertently, and then take action and do what it is that you need to do.

I'd bet that most people are guilty of putting off something that needs to be done. In the sales profession, Cold Calling is one of those tasks that is frequently put off due to a deep internal fear of talking and trying to sell a total stranger the product or service. While in my eight years of sales, I saw salesmen procrastinate endlessly about making cold calls. They'd rifle through papers, call current customers, work for work's sake and in general, keep themselves very busy doing nothing in order to not have to do what needed to be done in the first place.

1. Cut The Excuses

As humans, we program ourselves from a very early age to defend ourselves. I'm not necessarily talking about getting into fights, but it's the need to justify our thoughts, decisions and actions that leads us to the thin line between legitimate justifciation and making a hollow excuse. It's become somewhat of a knee jerk reaction by the time we hit our teens.

By the time we get into our teen years, we also are very well aquainted with procrastination... For me, it was cleaning my room, doing dishes and keeping up with homework. I always found something else to do or reason not to do it. We kid ourselves and make excuses not to do what we don't want to do.

The hardest thing I needed to do was to stop making excuses NOT to do something.

One of the most important things I felt was that I really needed to know when I was legitimately putting off things and procrastinating. I mean, what things are being put off for legitimate reasons? Procrastinating about putting away laundry and using time with the kids as an excuse is a hard one. Sure, you are putting off the laundry, but isn't the time with the kids worth it? 

That lead me to the second realization: It's not procrastinating if you come back to the job you needed to do right away. So in this case, If I go do the laundry right after playing with the kids, I'm not procrastinating. If I do something else, like watch TV, or start in on a few rounds of Overwatch, yeah... that's legitimate procrastination.

2. Turning Mountains To Molehills

Understanding why you are procrastinating is the second part of breaking through. Why is it that I don't want to clean up? What's stopping me from doing the laundry right now? 

Stopping for a moment to think about what's stopping you makes everything from here out easier in theroy, but when you look at that mountain of laundry on the bed waiting to get folded, it's easy to turn away and say "I'll do it later."

The best thing I've found to do in that situation is to turn that mountain (of laundry) into a molehill.

The way I do that is to say to myself, "I'll just do my wife's clothes and leave the rest for later." She doesn't have that much I need to put away, so it will be easy.

As I start sorting her laundry from the rest, I begin to automatically sort the rest of the laundry by person in the house... My daughter's laundry in one pile, each of the boys in their own piles, and before I really realize it, I have everyone's pile sorted out.

Not it's so much easier. Since the kids have to fold and put away their own laundry, I can just call them and a bunch of piles of unfolded laundry disappear quickly. 

The last two, my wife's and mine aren't that big, so I can knock them out in ten minutes.

Reducing the work in to smaller bites works a lot better than looking at the task as a whole. When it's a mountain you have to overcome you'll rarely get the gumption to even start.

When you break it down into much smaller goals, it becomes a lot easier to get started, and as you're getting things done, you find that you might as well do the rest since you've just started in on the smaller goal.

This Technique for Stopping Procrastination Works

It might seem too simple, but the process definately works. I've been able to get a lot more done rather than putting things off as I used to. It's not perfect, and there are some things that I still procrastinate over, but I've been able to eliminate about 60% of the things that I'd have put off before I tried doing this.

The benefit is that you don't have things hanging over your head, and you can clear that space in your mind to move on to other things.

If you use this or any other method to stop procrastination, I'd love to hear how it's working for you in the comments below!

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