That one word may as well be a four-letter word to many people and me.
It’s what had me at a virtual standstill for quite some time. Even today, I have battles with it, with procrastination often winning.
You may have won the battle, but I will win the war!
Just how long the war will wage, that’s still uncertain, but I will win it.
I’ve sought therapy for my procrastination habits, just to let you know how much I believe this has hampered my growth and life. Or am I blaming procrastination for my limitations? I mean, why do I procrastinate, to begin with.
Procrastination exists for a few reasons. Mainly fear. I have a fear of failure. And a fear of success, which the author of the “Now Habit” referred to as the delayed fear of failure.
Fear of failure is so debilitating that you choose to do nothing rather than failing, ensuring failure. So why do it? Because you can rationalise the failure in the end, saying “if I had more time, I would have done it better” or “I didn’t put in the best effort, so it’s not my best performance” or similar. So it allows you to keep your ego intact while allowing procrastination to serve its purpose.
What is the purpose of procrastination?
It’s a protection mechanism that the psyche has put in place to protect yourself.
It’s hard to imagine that procrastination is a protection mechanism, but it is. You have no idea how powerful your ego is and how it works to sometimes sabotage your efforts.
You need to gain awareness of it. You need to grow and fight it. I’ve been trying for a while to fight it. I have dozens of books unread, just as many projects and hobbies undone, and many plans put aside for when time is available.
I even have a book called “Procrastination – Why you do it. What to do about it Now” that’s been half-read for about five years now. I started reading it after purchasing it three years before. It still sits on my desk, waiting to be completed. I never put it away, saying that if it’s in my sight, I will read it, but I have still never gotten around to it. I have read many other books since then, just not that one.
Why though? Is it the ego protecting itself again? Probably, but also, the steps seem like an awful lot of work. Overwhelming. Does it mean that it is? Probably not; it just seems that way. I’ve done lots of other things that perhaps required 100x more effort to perform, but overcoming my procrastination just seems unsurmountable.
But I work towards overcoming it a bit at a time, every day. Write a little. Read a little. Study a little.
It’s creating a habit that procrastination cannot stop.
Making good healthy habits is one way to overcome procrastination. So you have one thing in your arsenal to try.