Why do we procrastinate? I think that we tend to see things for the mountain of work that they can be, and not for the results that we can achieve when all is said and done. We can procrastinate for other reasons, but really we just don’t like to go headfirst into stuff that might be uninteresting to us. I probably have procrastinated on seven things already today, and while I regret doing it, I don’t seem to be able to make that adjustment always.
I think the biggest thing other than sheer laziness is that we can be afraid of things. Fear can cause us to put off things that we really know we need to get done. We know that we have to get surgery, but we fear it, so we put it off. We know that we have to fly to the conference, but we might be scared of flying, so we don’t buy the tickets until the last minute. We can get nervous about how things will play out, so instead of getting it out of the way, we just ignore it.
Sometimes it is just a lot of work that has to get done, so we just don’t do it. We figure that the pile of work is so high that we aren’t going to get it done today anyway. Why bother? I know that some days when I set really high goals for my writing, I tend to avoid it because I feel like it would be too much to do in one day. I realize that I will never get anything done if I don’t push myself, but I tend to start doing other things out of fear that I might not have time to do things after I start writing.
Procrastination can come from just having too much time on our hands. I sometimes find that when I have to work more than five days in a row, I can actually be more productive than otherwise. When I get to my time off, I tend to feel like I have so much time that I will surely get all the work done that I wanted too. Of course I usually find that I sit on the couch more often than not, and rationalize it by saying that if I can get it all done under pressure when I don’t have a lot of time, why can’t I get it done later?
How do we stop procrastinating? I think we just have to get up, start working, and just do it until we get it done. I realized that half the battle is just getting up. If I can get myself out of bed at a reasonable hour, I can stay awake a lot better than I thought I could. Once I am in the car going to work, or once I start typing, I am off to the races. If I just sit around, I will become too comfortable, and just lay around all day. The cure for procrastination could just be to get up and get moving. It is as simple as that.
Procrastination is something that we all do, and nobdoy is immune from it. It is funny how we can just sit around and waste time all day, and yet we know the consequences of doing so. It is usually something we regret when trying to get all the work done at the last minute, when we had hours to do it. Its funny how that happens, but if we can just learn to get up, and not let the couch own us, we will be OK.