Yeah… the word alone puts a knot in your stomach, does it?
Procrastination – the act of delaying or postponing; to put off intentionally and habitually; a postponement, “often with the sense of deferring though indecision, when early action would have been preferable.”
It’s something most of us have struggled with at one point or another in our lives. It could have been as simple as a homework assignment in grade school, not wanting to clean our room, or come in from playing with friends. But as life moved on, the homework became a presentation at work; the cleaning – well, that could still be a problem! The recreation just got expanded – more places to go, no curfew, bigger toys, and less rules and boundaries where the world became your playground.
Some studies show that up to 20-25% of people consider themselves chronic procrastinators!
There is barely an area in life where procrastination doesn’t impact us. Medical/physical problems can arise from perhaps putting off seeing your doctor, thereby causing a lack of diagnosis, and there is always the impact of stress and anxiety caused by procrastination. Career and educational outcomes can be made or broken by habitual missed deadlines and reports; financial procrastination can be deadly to one’s fiscal fitness; relationships and family situations remain unresolved or broken; mental and emotional stress can over time wear you down. The list goes on and on. In the workplace millions are lost by worker distraction and putting off assignments.
If you are feeling particularly blue or anxious right about now, take heart. While overwhelm and dread certainly are partners of procrastination, there is hope that you can take steps to overcome this common problem. Tomorrow we will begin to see the why and how, Thursday we will examine the pain and pleasure of procrastination, and on Friday we will look at a variety of methods by which you can break through the paralysis of procrastination. Don’t beat yourself up or give up – you aren’t alone. Believe me, I know what it feels like to live daily with this cause of such dis-ease. Let’s take baby steps together.
Do make it a point to come back each day this week as we seek answers, encouragement and resolutions.