I have talked about procrastination several times recently, because I continue to catch myself procrastinating on some of my projects. In particular, other than wasting time in front of the TV, I tend to spend too much time preparing, planning, and researching. But I realize I should just take action and move forward in the project.
Recent reflections and examination has convinced me that the root problem is laziness, and procrastination is just a symptom of the real problem. It has been easy for me to convince myself that I don’t really have a problem with laziness. After all, I work hard and accomplish a lot. But I am not accomplishing as much as I believe I should nor as much as I want to, in this “best decade” of mine.
I define my laziness as not doing something that needs doing. This can be accomplished by doing nothing productive, but more often means doing something not really necessary for the accomplishment of the project – something more enjoyable than the real work. After all, the real work is sometimes boring and often difficult. And the real work has concrete objectives that can usually be measured and timed.
Just as procrastination is just a symptom of laziness, for me the real problem may not be laziness either. I find that fear, for example fear of failure or lack of complete success may be the real issue for me. I talked about conquering fear here. I shared three steps to conquer fear, and the first step is to recognize the fear. Now I am taking action, and staying positive.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. So I recognize after what is years in some cases, without accomplishing specific goals, I need to change something to have a different result and make significant progress.
So I start by addressing the fear. In addition to the steps I covered earlier, I pause to examine what I’m accomplishing now and what do I want to accomplish. Then I ask myself what is the worst that could happen if I get serious in my efforts and don’t succeed completely? What am I really fearful of, in addition to failure?
This has led me to purpose to have a minimum time that is productive on my projects even on days I work a full day. And I am tracking progress in some specific areas. One area is to get back to publishing an article on this blog every week, usually on Sunday. I wrote every week for years, but recently have let my priorities be impacted by the urgent rather than addressing the important. And my blog is important to me.
What about you? Is there any procrastination in your life, maybe a symptom of some laziness? Is it possible that the root problem is fear? Why not take action today?