Procrastination-The Silent Killer of Dreams

Procrastination…the silent killer of dreams.

Scrolling through your phone, skimming your newsfeed, aimlessly watching videos and posting good reads. Staring into the refrigerator, looking into space, checking notifications and perfecting the slow pace.

Procrastination is the silent killer of dreams.

There are 24 hours in a day and let’s say 8 hours are allotted to sleep.

Do you effectively utilize the remaining 16?

There’s no way to get somewhere when you’re doing a lot of nothing leading to nowhere.

There are many reasons we can attribute to procrastination- laziness, stress, lack of inspiration, and tiredness to name a few.

In high school, I used to be proud of my procrastinative tendencies. I would say that, “I performed better under the last-minute stress”. When I waited last-minute to study, I felt I did better on tests. I did well in school, but it certainly wasn’t my best and I can attribute most of this to procrastination.

I told myself a lie so that I didn’t have to perform. Instead of making the most of my time, I spent a lot idly watching life pass me by. Now.. I was young, but action trumps all regardless of the excuse.

Most people know if they are prone to procrastinate. It’s not something to take lightly. Procrastination is not an inherent disability. It is a choice. It is a way to avoid dealing with things that need to be addressed in our lives.

During the times that we procrastinate, we are usually not filling that time with productive activities. In this day and age, we are spending a lot of time on unproductive activities such as aimless social media, Netflix, or gaming binges.

And then, when we can cannot afford a moment more, we rush in to complete a project under all this pressure and have the nerve to be frustrated that we didn’t start a week ago.

It was not until more recently that I acknowledged that my procrastination was not something to be proud of. Once I admitted my flaw, I was able to make the necessary changes and become more productive.

If you struggle with procrastination, I recommend the following steps. Once I made the changes, I immediately felt the reduction of stress in my life and an increase in happiness.

1) Don’t wait for inspiration, just start. Many of us desire this “light bulb” moment to strike and give us an amazing revelation for our project.

We need just the right lyrics for our song, the perfect intro for our paper, a killer line for our speech — we are waiting for this idea to come to us. Instead of waiting, just start.

Many times, inspiration is found during the process of doing. In the process of doing, we are actively using our minds and when those creative juices are flowing, it is the ideal time to find inspiration.

2) Go to a place where you are forced to work. If you know that you don’t want to do something, don’t try to do it in a place where you easily get distracted.

I used to go to my room and lounge on my bed when it was time to complete a project. My thought process was that, I might as well be comfortable while I am doing something unpleasant. Obviously, this was a bad plan. The majority of the time, I wound up either falling asleep or pushing the work aside until a different night.

Now, when I have something I need to accomplish, I sit at my kitchen table in a semi-hard chair. I am not in lounge mode, I am in work mode and it makes it much easier to focus on the task at hand and see it through to completion.

If you need to go to a local coffee shop, bookstore, or wherever you need to go to focus, go there.

3) Pick a time to work. Set aside a specific time and a time expectation for how long the project will take. Do not waiver.

4) Get all of your excuses out of your system. If you know you’re going to be hungry, eat before. If you know that your favorite show is coming on- make plans to watch it at a different time.

Don’t leave any room for an excuse to bail out on your project.

5) Start early. This is perhaps the most obvious step, but the whole point is to not procrastinate so this is key. Give yourself enough lead time. Think about how much time it would take to complete your project 2 or 3 times over and give yourself that much time.

Once you begin to be proactive, you will see an increase in the quality of your work and you will feel the relief knowing that you are not racing to meet a deadline.

The space that was once filled with aimless activities will now be more open to pursue other purposeful activities.

We all want to live meaningful lives, killing off bad habits like procrastination will enable us to do that.

Be intentional with your time and don’t delay what you need to do at the expense of one day not being able to do what you want to do.