Why Procrastination Hurts
I was showing a short video about procrastination to one of my students, and it struck me how much it applies to so many areas of our lives. I procrastinate in making doctors’ appointments and paying certain bills. It’s not that they don’t get done. They just don’t get done in a timely manner. I decided to research it a little more and make some changes. Besides, how can I be showing someone else about it if I don’t work on it myself. I am a big believer in being prepared, and yet, with some things, I need to work on not procrastinating. Good grief, I can make a doctor’s appointment online!
Procrastination can be defined as “the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It could be further stated as a habitual/intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite its negative consequences.” ~ Wikipedia. That’s pretty much it.
Why Procrastination Hurts
Procrastination causes some to wait until the very last moment to do something they really don’t want to do. For instance, a student who needs to prepare for an exam, and despite having several weeks to do so, waits until the night before the test to cram all night. That hurts. In my case, I don’t like this bill because it’s an arrears on something we got behind on when the economy fell apart. However, procrastinating paying it only makes the situation worse, because the interest and penalties increase. That hurts too. Avoiding a task doesn’t make it go away, nor diminish the importance of it.
What I was reminded of is that sometimes people procrastinate because they are disorganized, live with clutter, multi-task too often, are easily distracted, or have trouble with punctuality. Those are all different issues in themselves, but they all contribute to each other. I struggle with a touch of all of them in one way or another.
Make a Plan and Follow It
In my work, I have a running calendar where I put all my activities, and always carry a notebook to write things down in. I am going to change the way I’m making my doctors’ appointments to help me not procrastinate doing it. I plan on thinking more seriously about why it’s important to get my check ups done more timely. For the bill I don’t like, I plan on going into my account and see if I can set it up for automatic payments.
You can do the same with whatever it is you procrastinate on. Think of why you don’t want to do it and why you should. Think of how you can change that. Write down pros and cons (I’ve done that for years). Make a plan and try it. Keep improving. We’re all trying to do that. These things will help us as we continue to live healthy lifestyles.