I am a procrastinator. I said this all the time and freely used it as an excuse to myself for why only eight out of 15 tasks on my daily To Do lists got done. I procrastinate – it was my mantra. I owned it totally. It was me. And I felt bad about undone tasks. I felt like an underachiever.
Then one day, I started to think….why am I a procrastinator? Was the root the traditional reasons experts give (you know – fear, lack of focus, task so big you don’t know where to begin so you don’t, poor time management skills, TV)? But, I had tried the experts’ traditional fixes for these, but they didn’t work for long. So was the root something else?
Some words I read years ago began to echo in my head:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
“Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)
I have a good friend named Lynne. Every time she begins to do something, especially something new, she smiles a huge smile and says, “I can do this!” And she gets it done. She is awesome and such an inspiration. Hmmm…..
Could it be my thinking? Had I said “I am a procrastinator” so much I was “eating its fruit”? I started to realize that procrastination is a conscious act. It was a decision. I decided to change my thinking. Instead of thinking, “I am a procrastinator,” I began thinking, “I do not procrastinate. I can do this now!” I also began saying it out loud. And I also stop focusing on how many things on my daily To Do list didn’t get done and started focusing on the things I did.
Am I perfect now? No. But I get more done now without unreasonable delays. In my planner, I now track and focus on my daily accomplishments. If I don’t accomplish a task on the day I planned, I write it down to do the next day and it gets done. I face the challenge everyday to do a task now, but I can do this – I do not procrastinate!
Question for Comment: How do you deal with procrastination?
(originally posted June 25, 2010)