Three Responses to Procrastination

overcoming-procrastinationI’ve talked about procrastination (here and here), and the fact that maybe the root problem is laziness. I’ve also talked about setting goals and my plans to make this my best decade yet. These thoughts came as I approached turning sixty years old. Now, as I approach my sixty first birthday, I am reflecting on my progress, or lack thereof.


Martha Alderson talks about procrastination in her book The Plot Whisperer. Taking her three possible responses to procrastination, changing the order and rewording some, I came up with these possible responses:

(1)   Linger for months, years, or a lifetime in limbo, never accomplishing your dreams and settling for the mediocre.

(2)   Turn away and reject your goals and challenges, remain unchanged.

(3)   Keep moving forward, later able to share your triumphs with others.

By default, not making a conscious choice for the number 2 or 3 response, means that you have selected number 1 – to linger in limbo and mediocrity.

There is a saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome. Another view of procrastination is to see that the real choice is between insanity and sanity. If I am going to approach the next nine years of my best decade with sanity, I have to have the wisdom to change what needs changing, and consistently choose to move forward in my goals. But it is easier said than done.


I am realizing that while some of my projects do not fit well into the spare time after work, there are other activities that do and are more productive than plopping down in front of the TV to watch Law and Order. One of the first adjustments for this second year in my best decade is to give up the cable TV and take the cable box back.

Then I am re-committing to the pending projects, to complete those one by one in a reasonable amount of time. Alderson also points out the two possible choices for all your goals:

(1)   take steps toward your goal

(2)   shy away and drift – in limbo and mediocrity


The final part needed is an accountability partner, that is familiar with where I am and where I want to get to. That is someone to speak up when an adjustment is needed, as well as reinforce the movement towards the goals. The best selection in this case is my wife, but the lines of communication have to be open and frequently exercised.

How about you? Do you have some dreams and goals that seem to always stay on the back burner? Do you often answer the question “when?” with “mañana” (means “not today, maybe tomorrow or the next day”)? What will you do today to throw away some of the insanity and take a step forward, towards your goals?

About Mark Gredler

I want to move from Good Love to Better Love, share it, and share the Best Love of God. I like ancient and medieval history, especially of Spain. I like photographing Spanish fiestas, and visiting Romanesque churches, from the 11th to 13th centuries. I enjoy traveling, seeing new places, meeting new friends, taking photographs of that, and want to write more about it all.
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