Is Procrastination the Thief of Time?- 7 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Is Procrastination the Thief of Time Thinking womanMost of us have been there. You wake up in the morning, look at your calendar, go through your appointments and you are all ready and set for the day.

Just as you are ready to go out and conquer the world,  a tiny voice at the back of your head tells you to check your Facebook timeline to catch up with ‘what’s happening’ as you sip your morning coffee.

Next thing you realize you have been watching  cats and suicidal kids walking on the edge of the rooftop skyscrapers. 2 hours have passed by.

As if that’s not enough you receive a call from your buddy calling you over for lunch even though it’s only 11.00 am and there goes another 2 hours down the drain.

You keep telling yourself that you will make up for all the time you have lost before the day is up, but alas, the day is over and you have done jack.

Guilt creeps in, and you go to bed feeling stupid. Come daybreak and the same damn voice has more senseless videos lined up on Facebook for you.

Time rolls by and you lose the motivation of achievement because the voice has come to convince you that you have AHDD and it’s not your fault.

This is how google describes procrastination

Is Procrastination the Thief of Time procrastination

Procrastinators are not lazy people. They are ambitious and want to get things done. They just lack the mental discipline to fulfill the most urgent and important tasks in their lives.

Unfortunately procrastinating is a dangerous trend that will often lead to unfulfilled dreams and failure to achieve your goals. It also leads to high levels of stress and anxiety.

To a large extent, procrastination is a failure of self-regulation. I suppose you can compare it to an addiction like gambling or over-eating.

How to avoid procrastination

They say humans are creatures of habit. If you can learn a bad habit you can unlearn it by substituting it for something productive and worthwhile. Procrastination is just a by-product of a bad habit.

As you adopt a particular regime of doing things then you will learn to stay focused on your tasks you will begin to see the results of your efforts.

  1. Set realistic short- term goals.

    You might have heard the old adage ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ Many procrastinators fail because they are intimidated by the task that lays ahead.

    You only have so much time during the day and every little thing you do towards the achievement of your goals is leading you in the right direction. Try to break your day into small time limits as you do the various tasks and you will have achieved more in the long run than trying to do everything at once.

    You will often feel better at the end of the day having achieved a little more than not having done anything at all.

  2. Don’t wait for the right time.

    Creative people sometimes talk of a mental block. That stage when you are not yourself or your creative juice isn’t flowing freely enough. This is sometimes true but in most cases, it’s just an excuse as to why something can’t be done.

    There is a never a right time for anything. If you are a writer and don’t feel like writing today, read. If you are an artist and can’t seem to get your brush strokes right, visit a gallery or just take time to view other people’s work.

    That could be the trigger that your brain is looking to fire its cylinders.Whatever you do, don’t let the sun go down without investing time in your goals.

  3. Plan for tomorrow… today

    It’s a good habit to plan out tomorrow’s activities before you go to bed. Right down everything you need to do tomorrow or even in the days ahead. Keep a diary and tick off each achievement as you go along.

    That way when you wake up every morning you are clear at the back of mind on what you expect to achieve. Waking up with a blank mind is a sure way of wondering away and not getting much done.

  4. Create a panic button

    Your panic button is like an alarm button by your bedside. The minute it rings you jump out of bed. The great thing about procrastinators is they are ambitious. Let that ambition be your panic button.

    If you are working on a project give yourself a deadline. There is no guarantee that you will beat it, because…umm, you are a procrastinator, but when you have that nagging feeling at the back of your mind that you must achieve that goal or perish, then you will most likely achieve more.

    If you happen to achieve it, I can assure you the next time you set a deadline, it’s going to be much easier.

  5. Minimize distractions

    We live in a distraction-filled world. Turn off your phone when you set out to do your tasks. Schedule TV time or get rid of the damn thing altogether.

    Aim to perform your tasks when there is less activity going on around you. It’s good to start the day by doing the normal day in day out activities before settling down to your main tasks.

  6. Talk it out with your friends

    Sometimes friends can be our biggest distraction in life and the biggest cause of procrastination. It could be your close buddy who always calls you out for drinks as you watch the game.

    While you may love the guy to bits, you need to make him understand that you are on a secret mission to success and watching the entire English football premier league season night after night will just not cut it. He may not take it well, but am sure he can live with it.

  7. Detach yourself from the end result

    People have a habit of looking at the results of their actions rather than the effort required. The result is a subconscious conviction that the end result is automatically attainable.

    This leaves you vulnerable to complacency. The journey to success is equally as important as the destination. Don’t preoccupy yourself with the end result of your labors. Your break will eventually come.

Final word…

Teach yourself to manage and balance your time well as you live a life of abundance. Do not beat yourself too hard when you fail to accomplish some tasks. There are those days which will slip by without you accomplishing much. Just don’t let those days pile up because that’s what leads to despair.

I will leave you with Seneca’s words in his book ‘The Shortness of Time

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”

Many thanks for reading my post. If you have a question or a comment, please leave it below. I would love to hear from you.

 

Leonard

Hi there. Great to connect with you. I worked as a graphic designer for many years but could not seem to make much headway. A few years ago I discovered internet marketing and that is how this blog was born. Hazina is a Swahili word which means treasure. It’s what we do here. We help people just like you find their own online treasure. Check out this amazing community based online education program that has helped me build a successful online business and how you too can have a piece of the action.

9 thoughts on “Is Procrastination the Thief of Time?- 7 Ways to Beat Procrastination”

  1. Neat article. I happen to be one of those people who sometimes struggle with procrastination issues so this was an eye-opener for me. I’d never actually thought of it as anything more than a bad habit, but your article showed me there may be a lot more to it than that.

    I’ll give some of these steps a try and see if I can’t improve a little. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Andrew and thanks for your comment. Most people struggle with procrastination form time to time and in varying degrees, myself included. It is a problem of habit, but like all habits, it can be overcome. I am glad you found it useful

  2. I really wanted to comment on this because I have never thought of your last point to detach yourself from the end result! This is brilliant. Can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before actually. My issue is that I can start to feel like the things I’m doing are futile and will never get me to my end goal and then that’s when the procrastinating starts. Reading this makes me want to re-structure my daily tasks to make them something more instrinsically worthwhile rather than just the A,B,C’s of reaching some goal thats so far off

    • Hi Martina and thanks for your comment. Having a structured way of doing things on a daily basis is better than just sailing through the motions. I like to see journey to success as a taking those tiny baby steps at the beginning and then gaining momentum along the way. The end result will come if you roll along the journey without worrying to much about the end of it. Glad I could help.

  3. Hi Leonard,
    I must confess I am the kind of person who needed to find a helpful article like the one you wrote. Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles on the path to the fulfillment of my goals. You’re right, we have a lot of distractions and it’s not easy to pass them by, sometimes. The tips you mention look effective, so I am going to follow them. Thanks a lot for your post!

    Sincerely,

    Francesco

    • Hi Francesco. Am glad you found my article helpful.Its something that a lot of people struggle with even though they wouldn’t confess it. Good thing is you can always reverse a habit.

  4. Procrastination also makes you feel guilty sometimes.
    One way that I have found to be helpful in order to not procrastinate is to use time-blocking when planning your time. You covered this in your first tip when you say to set realistic short term goals.
    Your second tip is also very useful too. There is not thing such as the right time. If you don’t feel like doing anything, prepare for it instead. Like it’s not good for us to do heavy exercise before doing some light ones too, the same thing it true for other activities too. We have to start small

    • Hi and thanks for your comment. Its the short term goals that add up to become long term goals. I had a friend years ago tell me to always do something positive with my life each waking day no matter how small or insignificant it is and eventually I will see the fruits of my labor. I look back today and I cant believe how true that was.

      Cheers dreamgirl

  5. I’m guilty of procrastination but it is true at times I can be very ambitious. I have been working toward fixing how I achieve my goals. I have used some of the examples here in this article.

    For instance I realized there is no right time. Sometimes we just need to keep going regardless of our motivation. I also realized that some goals I set might not be realistic but I still set goals and prepare for the end just in case I can’t meet those goals.

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