= (lat.) belonging to tommorow
= putting things off intentionally or habitually
If you have ever had trouble persuading yourself to do the things you should do or would like to do, you have experienced procrastination. When you procrastinate, instead of working on important, meaningful tasks, you find yourself performing trivial activities.
A history of putting things off
Since the dawn of time, people have suffered from procrastination. As the classic Greek poet Hesiod commented on this problem in his poem Works and Days:
“Do not postpone for tomorrow
or the day after tomorrow;
barns are not filled by those who postpone
and waste time in aimlessness.
Work prospers with care;
he who postpones wrestles with ruin.”
“Those who postpone and waste time in aimlessness” — this is how you could describe today’s procrastinator.
Seneca, the Roman philosopher, also warned: “While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away.” This quotation concisely reveals the main reason why learning to overcome procrastination is so important.
Procrastination is one of the main barriers blocking you from living life to its fullest. Recent research studies have shown that people regret more the things they haven’t done than the things they have done. Feelings of regret and guilt resulting from missed opportunities tend to stay with people much longer. When you procrastinate, you waste time that you could be investing into something meaningful. If you can overcome this fierce enemy, you will be able to accomplish more and in doing so better utilize the potential that life has to offer.
Today’s Age of Decision Paralysis
The world today plays into the hands of procrastinating and learning how to overcome it is therefore one of the most important skills you can learn.
In the last one hundred years the average human lifespan has more than doubled. Infant mortality is a tenth of what it was a century ago. Every morning, we wake up in a world where there is less violence and military conflict than in any other time in history. And most importantly, thanks to the Internet, almost all knowledge is available to us with just a few clicks of the mouse.
There are practically no limits on travel; you can go nearly anywhere in the world, anytime you want. Knowing another language enables people to understand and be understood in foreign countries. The cell phone you carry around in your pocket is more powerful than the supercomputers of twenty years ago.
The amount of opportunities that today’s world offers is staggering. Modern society idolizes individual liberty in the belief that the freer people are, the happier they will be. According to this theory, the freer you are, the happier you should be. So then why aren’t people today significantly happier than in the past? Because with more freedom to make our own decisions and performing our own actions, we have becoame easily confused with what is a priority, what is essential and what is not, and with what is right and wrong, and therefore we have become more demotivated to do anything at all.
We need to set straight our values and personal vision straight and to cultivate our positive habits. This is the essential thing that can help us overcome not only procrastination but also all the obstacles that life brings.
How to stop procrastinating
Procrastination is not laziness; it is the inability to persuade your self to do the things you should or would like to do. It‘s a good idea to start using the word procrastination instead of using the terms laziness or putting things off. It provides a much more accurate description of your situation, because only by giving the right name to your problem can you begin working on it. To learn easy and practical tools how to fight procrastination, please visit one of our workshops or order our book or join our e-learning sessions.
“While wasting our time hesitating and procrastinating, life goes on.”
“We all like to believe that the problem lies in other people. It gives us the feeling that we act correctly and that we ourselves do not have to change anything.”
“Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare.”