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.
= (lat.) belonging to tomorrow
= putting things off intentionally or habitually
A brief history of putting things off
Since the dawn of time, people have suffered from procrastination. Even the classic Greek poet Hesiod tackled 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 easily describe today's procrastinator.
Seneca, the Roman philosopher, wrote:
“While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away.”
This quote precisely reveals the main reason why learning to overcome procrastination is so important.
If you are into reading as Seneca was and want to learn more about procrastination, why don't you just read all about it in the book The End of Procrastination? You might discover why it is the procrastination phenomena that keeps us from living our lives to the fullest.
Why to fight procrastination?
Procrastination is one of the main barriers blocking you from getting up, making the right decisions and even from living the dream life you painted for yourself. Recent 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 in 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. Sometimes all our opportunities seem to be on our fingertips, but we can't seem to reach them.
If you are at this point interested to know more, but you are not much of a reader, how about trying to listen to this audiobook so you can be running or even gardening while learning to live your life the way you always dreamed about?
Today's age of decision paralysis
We now know that 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 are 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.
(btw it is the same cell phone that can play the online course, so you can be online & learning new skills at the same time.)
The number 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 to perform our actions, we have become 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 visions* 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.
*Personal vision is one of the core tools from the book The End of Procrastination, it helps you to understand what are your skills, priorities, and by creating one, you will never feel lost in what is it that you want to do with your life.
Value of time
We were all born and unfortunately at some point will all die too. The time we spend on Earth is both limited and finite. In light of these facts, time is the most valuable commodity you have in life. It’s not money; unlike time, you can borrow it, save, or earn more. You can’t do that with time. Every single second you waste is gone forever.
The mere realisation that life is finite leads people to begin managing their time more carefully. It makes you start thinking about how you would ideally like to spend your time on Earth.
Procrastination is not laziness
Lazy people simply don’t do anything and are just fine with it. Procrastinators have the desire to actually do something but can’t force themselves to start. They truly want to fulfill their obligations but just can’t figure out how.
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.
Video: What is procrastination and why fight it?
This video is part of the online course The End of Procrastination. If you want to learn more about how to fight procrastination and be more efficient, check it out
Further reading about procrastination
You can read more about procrastination in the first chapter (31 pages) of the book The End of Procrastination which is available for free.Download the free chapter "What is procrastination and why fight it?"
Do you need help to stop procrastinating?
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