Procrastinator, How Many Times Are You Going to Put Things Off?

A message to the Procrastinator.  There’s bad news on the horizon.  This thing you have.  The stuff you don’t do.  It’s selective.  You pick and choose what you’re going to put off.

Every moment that you don’t act, it plays on your mind.  Annoyance runs through your body.  Sometimes feeling like it has its own pulse.

Why is it that we continually delay the inevitable?  Especially when we’re aware it will make us feel at odds with ourselves.  Avoiding something rather than getting on with it?

Working on tasks for short periods of time will relieve you of that sinking feeling.

The procrastinator who meets deadlines.

A deadline looms and every second counts.  Putting responsibilities off until the last minute creates more pressure.  An individual will never really know if they enjoy the working process.  The finish line is their main objective.  This will impact on the quality of work produced.

The mind is left frustrated.

  • Concentration is not at its best. Attention is divided between mentally beating themselves up and the task at hand.
  • Heavily sighing while doing the job.
  • Fear circulates throughout the body due to the intense pressure they’re under. Working in a hypersensitive state.
  • Questioning why they left it to the last minute again? Some even promise themselves it will be the last time they go about their business in such a fashion.  This sort of self-talk should be left for after the deadline.  Focusing solely on the finalisation of the project.

These individuals get the job done, people are satisfied and it’s over.  The procrastinator repeats the same cycle.

What would happen if they underestimated the project and overestimated their ability?  Unable to complete the assignment by the due date.

RELATED:  Beating the fears that cause procrastination.

Everything you develop requires time to live and breathe.  Allowing the job to grow.

The result of an overnight project passes.  Decision makers are pleased.  All involved will never know how much better the assignment could have been.  The results could have been astonishing.

There are those that believe a procrastinator puts off the action part of the project.  Yet they are constantly thinking about it.

Even if that is so, why is it that those who are skilled at delaying things feel angst within themselves?  It’s good and well to ponder.  Leaving projects to the last minute leaves no room for error, additional ideas and tasks.  Possibly skimping on excellence.

Leaving projects to the last minute leaves no room for error. Possibly skimping on excellence. Click To Tweet

Procrastinator, How many times are you going to put things off?

Good enough, is NOT good enough.  When you’re representing yourself everything must be done at 100%.  Every task, every dotted ‘i’ and every crossed ‘t’ is completed with your unique touch.  It’s has your signature written all over it.

Even those behind the scenes duties that won’t be acknowledged by others.  The work nobody sees.  Every action you do is representative of who you are.  There could be no greater motivation than to want to do everything to the best of your ability.

What is the point of a half arsed attempt?  Why would you do anything with 50% energy?  All in or not at all.

Good enough, is NOT good enough. When you’re representing yourself everything must be done at 100%. Click To Tweet

The Fizzler.

A tormented soul.  Has many dreams and ideas.  Yet this person lacks the will to follow through.

This type of procrastinator puts things off until it becomes a distant memory.  Never getting anything off the ground.

They do themselves a major injustice.  And the world misses out.  Excuse after excuse, distraction after distraction and no action is the outcome.

Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.  – E. L. Simpson

RELATED:  Reprogramming the mind is as easy as a carrot a day.

The 20 minute miracle tool kit.

Procrastinator

15 minutes of action followed by 5 minutes of reflection.  These two tools combined are like a match made for motivation and progress.  They walk hand in hand.  They’re the dynamic duo.

  • Set aside 15 minutes every day. Work on a project you’ve been avoiding.  You’re not obliged to do more than 15 minutes.  In fact it’s advised to use an alarm.  Putting aside all the chatter in your mind and focus on the task at hand. 
  • Think of this as research. You must action this 15 minutes to understand its power.
  • Watch how fast time passes.
  • Observe how much work you’ve done.
  • Do you feel a sense of relief at starting your project well before the due date?
  • No harm came to you while working within this small time frame. The world did not stop, the sky remained the coloured it was before you started.  Yet progress was made.  15 minutes is worth exploring.

Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all. – Byron Pulsifer

Now you’re on a roll, you want to do more than 15 minutes.  Continue if you’re in the mode.

A word of caution here.  Attempting this new routine once or twice does not break the old habit of procrastination.  This must be consistently worked at.

Each day complete this 15 minutes without pressuring yourself to do more time.  The beauty of this tool is to understand the power of small intervals of work.

Don’t commit to 15 minutes and expect yourself to do more.  Doing this will have you falling back into your old excuses to avoid this time slot all together.  Defeating the purpose of the exercise.

Use this 15 minute as a safety net.  You can’t possibly talk yourself out of such a short time frame.  What justification would sit comfortably in the mind?  NONE.  You have to at least try this practice.

Commit to this 15 minutes until it becomes second nature.  Work at it until it no longer feels like a negative feeling.  Even when there are no dead lines in sight.  Make your own.  Procrastinators you owe it to yourself to at least try this strategy.

RELATED:  Positive and negative reinforcement create patterned behaviour.

A habit worth breaking.

You’re not the only one who deals with avoidance.  We all have our own mental wars going on.  What separates us is discipline.

The procrastinator is aware they will complete the workload.  Yet they continue to hinder themselves by putting it off.  It’s like they enjoy a hard time rather than a smooth time.

We all deal with avoidance. We all have our own mental wars going on. What separates us is discipline. @thedigger0 Click To Tweet

Allowing your own mind to get the better of you.  Your brain gives you a number of excuses to stall and then tortures you for not doing it.  Outwardly nobody notices but inwardly there is a struggle.

Either way you’re going to be uncomfortable.  You can delay for as long as possible and feel the negative repercussions you always do.

Or you can use that same ill at ease feeling to move forward and make changes.  Which battle is more worthy?

Taming the mind takes time and consistency.  Controlling it so you can use it to its fullest potential.  Training your thinking muscle to support your endeavours.

Defying that negative self-talk for positive feelings and outcomes.  You don’t want to be battling procrastination ten years from now.

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. – Pearl S. Buck

There’s proof!  You’re a selective procrastinator.  There are other tasks, previous works done with little effort.  You’re mind doesn’t settle for putting things off in other areas of you day.

You maintain a job.  Go to meetings.  Do you think the mind hasn’t attempted to control this area?  You drowned out and ignored this talk?  Remember your first day at work.  You felt excited and scared.

There were bills to pay, food to purchase, clothes to buy and leisurely activities cost money.  You had no alternative but to show up.  You ignored the negative internal nag and got on with it.  Work is a habit.  You do it automatically.

Your actions provide evidence of your selective procrastination.  You already have the skill-set to defeat this.

RELATED:  Changing Direction:  6 tips to help you do what’s right for you.

In conclusion

Of course the procrastinator can finish a job in time.  But not without feeling angst.  That is reason enough for wanting change.  Putting off actions to constantly have the mind torture the individual for not starting.

The fizzler has many dreams.  They remain nothing more than passing moments.  Rather than opportunity in the making.  Slowly but surely any good idea becomes a thing of the past when no action is applied.

The mind is a powerful muscle.  It has many sneaky ways of trying to keep us from progressing.  That’s why it requires discipline.

Face it now or you will be repeating this habit in ten years.  Managing your time and disciplining your actions may feel uncomfortable initially.  Let’s face it, you’re familiar with this feeling.

Procrastination leaves you all bound up.  New changes will feel as awkward as putting something off.  If that’s the case, then it’s worth trying something new.  Procrastinator the choice is yours.

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22 Comments

  1. Love this post, Rachel!

    I’m not often a procrastinator except when it comes to filing at my job. I’ve been procrastinating that one for about 2 years now. 🙂 I do know those who procrastinate just about everything and it crawls under my skin! I don’t know how people can be that when especially with deadlines. There is way too much stress involved with that.

    Thanks for sharing this. Passing it along!
    Bren Pace recently posted…Life of the Rich and UnscrupulousMy Profile

    • Hey Bren,

      Oh that dam filing. How many times I wished the office building would set alight just so I could start a fresh. The paper work seems to pile up so fast. I used that 15 minutes each day to get through a tonne of filing when I worked for the government. It really does work, but beware – paper cuts are the hazard catching up on the filing.

      I agree there is so much stress involved when deadlines loom and the work is yet to be started. I am a lot like you I can’t operate like that. Sounds like you are a wonderful planner and trust in your own steps Bren. Stick with your strategy, meeting deadlines in a comfortable fashion yells well organised. Thanks for your comments.

      Rachel.

  2. Rachel, I am not hesitant to admit that “procrastination” is my number one problem nowadays.

    I don’t want to procrastinate and I know I have to avoid it but it is so deeply-ingrained in human psychology and sub-conscious mind that it just happens to you. As you rightly said, one needs to be aware of it and have an action plan to deal with it. It won’t disappear overnight but with persistent awareness and effort, it can be minimised to insignificant levels.

    Great work Rachel by selecting a topic which is a common enemy of many of us.
    Ahmad Imran recently posted…Nexus 6P Strengths and Weaknesses – After 72 DaysMy Profile

    • Hey Ahmad,

      You were inspiration behind this post. One of your comments triggered something in me to write about procrastination.

      Habits are not easily changed that is fact and the struggle. You acknowledge that its ingrained in you, but don’t allow that to be the focus. It appears that you are looking for solutions to overcome procrastination. It even feels as if it troubles you or plays on your mind.

      May I suggest you fool around with it. Choose a strategy to work at overcoming procrastination. See if it works for you. Assess it along the way. Record the strategy, what you’re feeling, how it worked or did not work. Then move onto another. When you’re looking for a solution sometimes a long the way you’re rewarded with change and a lot more.

      Change is never overnight. When I hear someone has overcome one of their own struggles – I get very excited because its is there that they found their own strength, learnt valuable insights into themselves and fought for themselves. What growth.

      If you keep that outlook of persistence awareness and effort you will eventually get there. And appreciate it more.

      Rachel.

      • Excellent advice Rachel, I will definitely try that and if I get some positive feedback, I will share my thoughts with you and your blog audience.

        I extract a few main points below from one of the best seller on growth and riches (think and grow rich by N Hill) and I hope that it will make sense to some extent.

        Here are a few key ones to tackle procrastination:

        1) definiteness of purpose (never underestimate that)
        2) desire and then absolute faith (work on it daily)
        3) Will power (it is like a muscle which develops by using it)
        4) action plan (of how to do it)

        There are many other elements as well but with these key ones, I am sure procrastination can be reduced to managable levels.

        Cheers again and have a nice day/night in Aus. 🙂 Regards
        Ahmad Imran recently posted…Dell Chromebook 13 Design Review – Looks and FeelMy Profile

        • Hey Ahmad,

          You know I would be honored if you shared your journey here at Dig A Little Deeper.

          So glad you read this book Ahmad, I have done so three times. So much of my learning and progress from 28 years and on have been shaped by that book (I kid you not). I test ran a lot of his advice. Practiced and made many changes. You could near look at my theories and behaviour and see they align with a lot of that book. If I could have dinner with two people from the past it would be Napoleon and Mother Theresa.

          Don’t forget Ahmad to action the theories you think will best suit you. I see you are busy looking for ways to overcome procrastination. Gathering information and strategies. That is great preparation.

          If you feel like it – share you procrastination stories in detail here.

          Rachel.

          • Rachel, thanks for that and I knew that you would have read that book. Brilliant.

            I am honoured that you offered me to share my thoughts and learning on this platform. I will certainly do. I don’t know if you prefer for me to keep commenting or if you open a guest post opportunity at any stage on your blog, I would like to contribute 🙂 – I am in the queue 🙂

            Cheers and have a great time. Take Care
            Ahmad Imran recently posted…Dell Chromebook 13 Design Review – Looks and FeelMy Profile

          • Hey Ahmad

            ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is one of my all time favorites.

            Open up dialogue any time you choose. Share you thoughts. I am always keen to find out about people and their thoughts and progress. In fact that always has my attention.

            As for the guest post – I’m not there yet. I don’t know what I want from it or how I will go about it. That is probably a year to eighteen months away. I take my own work very seriously – but when I bring another in on a project that is hyped to the maximum. I need to do a fair bit of research on it before I open that up to anyone. I like my collaborations to be smooth sailing so knowledge is a must. However in saying that when the gates open I will let you know. Thanks for the offer.

            Rachel.

  3. Hi Rachel

    Thank you for this wake-up kick on the backside. I am very guilty of procrastinating and I think I never even saw it for what it is. I see my results are not what I want and then run back to my training.

    This post has given me the perspective that it is not training I need. I know what to do but I don’t do it. Boy have I taken procrastination to a new level.

    Thanks for your 15 minute tip. That is valuable advice.

    Whenever possible shape life, don’t let it shape you. Do not invite it to create stress. Waiting until the last minute is doing just that. You lose the initiative.

    Great post

    Igert

    • Hey Igert,

      Always happy to oblige in a kick in the backside. What great feedback.

      I must say knowing where your stagnation lies is rather impressive. You know where your safety net lies. Your comfort zone is training. May I suggest you set up times where you do your training and only do short periods with the work you’re putting off. When you become more familiar with it, extend the time frames. Have a step by step plan in to how you will initially tackle the new area. So when you feel that queasy feeling you just follow the plan. Push through.

      Small reminder, when you look back to starting your blog there were so many hurdles that you had to overcome. Evidence that you’re already skilled up to face the unknown. Now go forth and soldier march into that unknown territory. Only for 15 minutes though.

      I am a lot like you. I get in my comfort zones and put off doing something new, for a while anyway. My inner voice that I refer to as ‘The Nag’, will always let me know where I need to focus. When that voice gets over bearing I do that soldier march myself.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Rachel.

  4. Hi Rachel, I cherish and admire your writes up about procrastination. Though many people find it really difficult to overcome procrastination, but I believe with personal development one can actually do that. Your writes up is really an inspiration to those who procrastinate a lot. I was in that category before, I always prolong and procrastinate things, but after developing myself personally I discovered action speak louder than words. Your writes up will really help a lot of people. Carry on with your good work.

    • Hey Austine

      Actions certainly do speak louder than words. Personal development is a great way in overcoming many obstacles. Some change takes a while with persistence and other change can be overnight when we logically believe in a new process.

      If you used to be a procrastinator you will certainly appreciate how hard it is to get going. The mind constantly attempting to stop progress. However when I see that my mind maybe getting the better of me – I’m near insulted and become stubborn and persistent about action.

      Austine it sounds as though you have done a lot of work on yourself. Keep that up.

      Rachel.

  5. Hey Rachel,
    I love your reading your posts as you definitely put your heart and soul into them. I love the humour especially about the half-arsed part.

    I know myself my discipline in life comes from a space of feeling good. Rather than me trying to struggle with my thoughts I think thoughts that make me feel good so I can line up my energy with positive thoughts before I take action.

    If people could just hook more into why they want to do it and find the positive emotions behind it they would procrastinate more and make a decision.
    I know my husband procrastinates alot and often it has to do with a lack of enough information about whatever he can’t make his mind up on.

    It’s funny because often the women are the procrastinator’s but in my house it looks like it is the man.
    I grew up with a father who would say ” quick make a decision” which can cause you to make a hasty decision that may not be the best at the time.

    But now I can make split decisions super fast and I do it from my feeling space first first-Great post and love reading your posts. Always so informative and I really liked the 15 minute idea…….fantastic for people to put to use-Jennifer
    Jennifer Giacoppo recently posted…‘How to get more of you by being-SELFISH’My Profile

    • Hey Jennifer

      You’re discipline comes from a space of feeling good. That’s great self-awareness. If its getting things done don’t change your strategy.

      I don’t know about you but I struggle with writing. I have a love/hate relationship with it. When I don’t do it, I’m down on myself, I’m tormented. Staring is the struggle to the point of intense feelings. My mind attempting to control me. How I over come this was to write every day in a routine. Some days I love the process, the time flys and I think I should have started years ago. However other days I feel tormented by it. Yet I still work in the routine. By the end of my writing sessions I am always happy with myself for pushing through.

      The reason I share this is because the struggle from procrastinator to action orientated is a real effort. It’s attached to many old habits. Many old thoughts. Even when someone changes the way they do things once or twice does not mean they won’t feel the uncomfortable pulls they’re familiar with. Depending on their moods, motivation and discipline will be the contributing factors of whether they go back to their old ways. It’s a big one.

      I would really love to hear how you support or go about dealing with your husbands procrastination. You’re two opposites when it comes to action versus procrastination. I always find that fascinating.

      You can thank your father for making you fast on our feet. It’s great when we can make split second decisions when necessary and feel confident about them. A lot of people aren’t good with that sort of pressure.

      Thanks for you comments and feedback. Truly enjoy having you over here.

      Rachel.

  6. [ Laughs ] I think that most of us fall within the category of the procrastinator that meets deadlines.

    Hey, the most important thing is, meeting your deadline!

    • Hey Renard

      There are a lot of well organised and disciplined people out there that just won’t leave things to the last minute.

      I’m going with the opposite opinion Renard. Meeting a deadline is essential, although hurried work does not get my stamp of approval. If and individual can meet a deadline by doing it just before its due, one will never know if it could have been better had there been more organisation involved.

      If procrastination bothers anyone – then its an issue.

      Good to see you again Renard.

      Rachel.

  7. Hi, Rachel

    I am not a person who likes procrastination. I can’t stand the idea that I have to finish the project in rush or I don’t have enough time to complete it. That pressure is too high for me. I really don’t understand why and how people can procrastinate to do the essential things.

    However, my elder daughter is a person who can only perform in her peak level at the last hour before the due time. Her logic is that she get more things done in this way. May be her reason is one of reasons people procrastinate until last min. I really don’t know.

    Love the post. Will share!

    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted…No Health/Wellness Program can be Completed without FastingMy Profile

    • Hey Stella,

      Sounds as though you are well organised Stella. Planning and taking action in order to meet commitments. This saves on a lot of stress.

      Some people do operate well when deadlines are only moments away. My question to any procrastinator is – do you enjoy leaving work to the last minute or does it play on your mind? If a person doesn’t think twice about leaving work until deadlines are due, there is no change required. It is when a person agonises over the deadline and does nothing about it – that’s when discipline is required.

      I do wonder how you cope with your daughters procrastination.

      Thanks for sharing, it was great hearing about your style and the difference to your daughters way of going about things.

      Rachel.

  8. Hi Rachel

    This post is indeed for me. In my early years, I was so good at procrastinating. However, what I did discover is that each time I pushed a task for later, I will end up being overwhelmed and unhappy.

    So I had to make a change and learn to do my tasks so early. This changed my perspective and I have come to hate procrastination.

    Love your post. Thumbs up Rachel

    Thanks for sharing. Take care
    Ikechi recently posted…Why You Shouldn’t Throw Any of Yourself AwayMy Profile

    • Hey Ikechi,

      I think we all have to feel the pressure of being the procrastinator for a while before we change our ways. Putting off tasks till later rather than planning and acting on them, plays on our minds. Once we realize all we have to do is add a small time frame to our schedules for the new work, we are able to start without hesitation. Not putting pressure on ourselves to perform because the deadline draws near and pressure builds to an uncomfortable level.

      Rachel.

  9. Hello Rachel,

    This is incredible. I almost forgot how inspiring your write-ups are. But I totally loved this.

    I used to be a commander-in-chief of the Procrastinators armed forces you know. Lol. The best time for me to do anything used to be ‘sometime’ and the best day was ‘someday’.

    I am better now. It is not like I am perfect at not procrastinating (I still do sometimes), but this is a great reminder to me of what things used to be like. And thankfully, I am at a better place. I love your 15 minute exercise too, I will try and practice it and see how it goes. just 15 minutes to work on my projects, right? I will try it. I have been putting off writing a book. But I will start today and see how I can get better with time.

    Thanks for this, you are a gem

    • Hey Toby,

      Glad you decided to hang up your Commander-In-Chief of Procrastinator title. LOL. The strength of your words in your posts, would not allow you to avoid work duties for too long. You would be too tough on yourself. Not letting yourself off the hook.

      All I can say Toby is I generally feel you liking yourself. That is always impressive in my book. If you want to maintain how you see yourself you have no choice but to remain disciplined. It’s all about you Toby. All your work, your actions and thoughts. Live the strength I know exists deep inside of you. You aim for greatness, start with the things that are possible daily to be great. Start from the very beginning. I wrote a post called Reprogramming the mind is as easy as a carrot a day. Let me know if you want me to send the link.

      Thanks for the visit. Enjoyed your comments.

      Rachel.

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