Our culture reveres those who constantly seem busy. If you have a baby in one arm, a business report in the other and you are speaking with a work associate on your cellular headset, you must have a full and fulfilling life. But is that really the case? In many cases, people feel and act so busy because they leave things until the last minute. They procrastinate. Procrastination can negatively affect nearly every area of your life.
You might be telling people that you thrive on deadlines or there is just too much on your plate, but if you were better at managing your time, chances are neither of those statements would be true. Don’t get me wrong, there are people that truly are just plain busy. However, in many cases, procrastination is to blame if you constantly feel overwhelmed.
Most likely your procrastination started out slowly. Perhaps you had a big project at work with a tight deadline and you couldn’t figure out where to begin. So instead of beginning, you worked on something else or ignored work entirely in favor of “just a few games” of solitaire. Suddenly the deadline is almost upon you and all you have are a few measly notes. Now you must rush to get it done.
Let’s say that you have a family waiting for you at home. Because you’ve left this project until the last minute, you must work late. Your spouse will be left alone to take care of the kids and by the time you get home, you won’t be able to spend any quality time with your family at all.
In the end, you meet your deadline and that gives you a sense of satisfaction. And since you were able to finish one project at the last minute, you know you can do it again. This is where the cycle of procrastination really begins. You might think that since you are making deadlines, no one notices your last-minute scrambling. Unfortunately for you, the opposite is true. Soon, without your knowledge, you become known around work as a procrastinator, lowering the respect you once had from your coworkers and management.
By the time this sort of behavior becomes part of your work routine, it is already affecting your personal life. Your spouse is disgruntled because you are never home for him/her and the children, so that relationship will begin to suffer. Little chores put off become huge messes, to the point where you don’t even know where to begin to clean them. Bills stack up because you just didn’t have time to sit down and work on your finances. You had the money to pay them, but now you don’t because they have become quite large now that they are three months overdue.
This might sound extreme, but it is the norm for many people these days. What they don’t realize is that procrastination has destroyed their accountability and time management skills. They are running around with too much to do simply because they didn’t start working on things as soon as they were assigned.
The cure for much of the stress and overwhelming circumstances in people’s lives is to just stop procrastinating. If there is something you need to get done, get it done. Stop creating lengthy to-do lists and ignoring emails until the last possible moment. If you can defeat procrastination, you will find yourself living a much happier, calmer life.
Would you like more information on succeeding personally and professionally? Contact me.