Procrastination is the little voice in your head that quickly finds a justification for why not getting your work done now is okay. It comes in many forms from excuses like, "I work better under pressure" to "I will get a lot more work done if I go out for a breeze and have fun with friends first, then I can work hard tomorrow." Wrong! Every time you procrastinate, all you do is make it harder on yourself. You build up stress on the back of your mind about that term paper you have to turn in or the project you have to finish for your boss. That stress does not help you in any way but to kill you stealthy and slowly every minute of the day.
If you can make a good term paper in a couple of days, just imagine what master piece it would have been if you just wrote with time and assembled a piece of the puzzle everyday. The last couple of days would be for small brush ups and minor details. Sadly, the procrastination way of thinking defeats all of us not just students with term papers. We always try to find justifications and/or rationalizations for why working on our projects later is best. We take the instant gratification of more fun activities over the work that must be done.
Resistance Gets Stronger The Longer We Wait
Procrastination is Resistance
Anyone who has indulged in the art of procrastination knows that procrastination is only resistance. Resistance to sitting down and get to work. Resistance to choose long-term over instant gratification. This resistance is what stop us from completing a diet regiment, reaching a milestone in our project, and materializing our dreams.
We let the voice of procrastination manifest mental resistances that masquerade instant gratification as the best option not just now but in the long run. The worst part about procrastination's resistance is that it uses logic to justify your actions. It never whisper in your ear that you will never write the article you've been thinking about. It tells you, " I'm going to write my article tomorrow." Wost of all, this way thinking quickly becomes a habit and the more you procrastinate the harder it becomes to "start tomorrow," therefore, tomorrow becomes the day after and the day after becomes next week and so on.
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Resistance is not unbreakable
It Can Be Beaten
The resistance manifested by procrastination is only resistance to start. If you have procrastinated before you can attest to this. All you avoid and rationalize against doing is merely sitting down and get to work. Once you force yourself to sit down and work, you start to get the ball moving. You grab traction and keep working through it until you amaze yourself at how much you had in you. It's like throwing a snowball down a snowy mountain; it rolls down, getting bigger and faster, until it reaches the bottom.
Remember, do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try for that is when you have truly failed. Steven Pressfield put it simply, "If Resistance couldn't be beaten, there would be no Fifth Symphony, no Romeo And Juliet, no Golden Gate Bridge. Defeating Resistance is like giving birth. It seems absolutely impossible until you remember that women have pulled it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years."
The three steps to create new habits and solve problems are awareness, understanding, and taking action. I hope to have brought you enough awareness and a bit of understanding for you to keep on your journey to success. Steven Pressfield does a fabulous job on the understanding of what procrastination is and taking action against it. I highly recommend his book The War Of Art. Read it and let me know what you think.
Lastly, I want you to comment on a project you have put on the back burner, for one reason or another, and tell me what actions you could take, today, to get it one step closer to completion.