“I’ll do it tomorrow.” – Procrastination

Action vs Delay

Have you ever been in a situation where you told yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”, and then tomorrow comes around, and you’re saying again, “Tomorrow, I’ll do it.” A couple of days pass, a week passes, and you still have not done it? Sounds familiar? Or “I’ll start on Monday.”, and Monday comes around, and it’s all forgotten already until you think about it again mid-week and tell yourself once more, “Alright, this time I’ll really start on Monday.”?

In November last year, I was invited to have a TEDx Talk at the HWZ in Zurich. In “Behind the Mask”, I spoke about the importance of having big dreams, as they guide your everyday life.

These dreams are your purpose, the reason why you get up in the morning. I wanted to win an Olympic Medal. A big dream, a huge goal. I had to break this dream down into smaller goals and create a plan on how to achieve this. The Olympic Medal, in the end, would then be the accumulation of the smaller goals that I have achieved along the way. This process was fundamental to win the bronze medal. The smaller actions I took were where I was growing, learning, building my self-esteem and confidence.

I broke down this dream of winning an Olympic Medal into a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly plan. My days were planned out to the last minute, if there was any conflict along the way, I immediately searched for possible solutions.

I had it all figured out, or hadn’t I?

I wish…

I knew exactly what I had to do, I planned it all. However, doing what I had planned was a whole different story and is exactly what prevents most people from accomplishing their goals.

Often, I didn’t do what I planned, so I started planning more, trying to optimize my schedule and the things I had to do. I was too focused on winning an Olympic Medal, on the things I could do or should do. I forgot that I had to work for it – NOW!

 

I was procrastinating. But why? Why do you procrastinate?

It is essential to understand that action is what creates your dreams, hopes, and desires. Without the action, you are left with a wish list.

Taking action is a certainty. Delaying a task means fear, worry, stress, and uncertainty. Procrastination is a force that pulls you back, slows you down, and keeps you stuck. Taking action is what moves and pulls you forward, it’s the catalyst to create change.

It is crucial that you appreciate all actions you take, no matter how small or big they are and whether they are immediately visible or not. Just start doing.

Next time you find yourself in a state of procrastination, ask yourself some of these questions to get you going and to understand why you are pushing off the task:

  • What is the worst that could happen if I don’t take any action towards my dream?
  • What is holding me back?
  • What am I worrying about that prevents me from doing this task?
  • What can I do today to start this task?
  • What do I feel like when I procrastinate on this task?

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” – Goethe

Like this article? Check out “The Negative Spiral” as well.

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