I wanted to give some quick thoughts today on procrastination, as it was on my mind this morning while I looked at my full laundry basket and put on my last available pair of boxers. Back in college, procrastination was essentially a lifestyle for a lot of people, myself included. Why worry about doing a project or writing a paper on Thursday when it’s due Monday and you can do it at 10 pm Sunday night? Unfortunately, this mindset often seeps into our lives even after college, and it’s time we eradicate it from our way of life.
We all know the danger of procrastination. An assignment is finally do the next day so we sit down late in the evening to accomplish the task. Unfortunately we often underestimate the difficulty of an assignment, and realize that the 2 hours we thought it would take to finish will actually take all night. The pain we were trying to avoid by pushing off our work actually magnifies when it comes time to finally get it done. These choices lead to lack of sleep, frustration, and stress, all of which only diminish our quality of life in general.
Another downside we don’t often look at is that we may miss out on other opportunities because of procrastination. Let’s say I put off a work assignment until Friday afternoon. At 3:00 I get a text from friends to meet them for a happy hour. I try to rush through my assignment, already lowering the quality of work I’m putting into it, but realize that I’m going to be at the office for a few more hours still to get it done, effectively missing my chance to spend quality time with friends.
So what can we do…
We need to get procrastination out of our mindset. The best way to do that is to discipline ourselves to doing tasks the moment they come up. If you realize you need to do laundry, get up and go do it immediately. If you’re thinking about making lunch, get up make it. If you’re assigned a project at work, get started. It all begins with little decisions that may seem trivial at the time, but doing them over and over will get you in the right mindset when bigger, more substantial tasks are involved.
One easy way I start my day every morning procrastination-free is getting out of bed the moment I wake up. Often in the past I’d reach over, grab my phone, start going through my social media, and then suddenly realize I’ve been lounging in bed for 45 minutes. Now, I set my alarm and put my phone across the room from my bed. I’m forced to jump out of bed and run across the room to avoid listening to the obnoxious default iPhone alarm for one second longer than I have to. Again, it seems like nothing, but it’s a great way to start the day off on the right foot, a concept that we love at Influential Gentleman.
There’s not much else to be said on the subject. We all know procrastination is a detriment to our lives, and there is no downside whatsoever to minimizing its hold on us. I encourage us all to spend our days actively avoiding procrastination by doing the tasks in front of us the moment they reveal themselves. Our daily productivity can only increase from there.