Many things are said about the act of putting things off, many call it procrastination. We all know many problems are caused when we do not take care of business. I thought it strange how we also can put off taking time to relax, have fun, or spend time with family, friends or others without having an agenda. Before talking about the act of procrastinating, I will clarify the definition. According to some of the world’s most trusted dictionaries, the definition of “procrastinate” is, “To defer action; delay, especially intentionally or habitually.” Another way of saying “procrastinate” is, “The act of putting something off until a later time.” Indecision, or mildly put, not making up your mind, can also be the cause to procrastinate.
It is well known that the fear of failure and the fear of success may cause some to get stopped in their tracks. Distraction, chasing shiny objects, can also take us away from that which is the task at hand. This can be a major problem for many in the world we live in now with so much to see and do. If we get caught up in a frenzy, exhaustion can follow with the loss of motivation to move forward. Perhaps that is when things are put on the back burner or bottom shelf.
We all have areas we have a tendency to procrastinate in a larger degree than others. In a survey taken, it was found the number one area people procrastinate was ‘exercise’, the second ‘eating healthy’. When asked, “Can you stop procrastinating?” the majority responded, “Yes, if I really want to, tomorrow!” As serious as this issue can be, I was surprised how many wanted to put off taking care of problems, and yet laughed nervously when we talked about it.
I believe that we have the tools to make the changes we desire in our lives. For those who do not, there are many around us who are willing to help. It is important to create a good support system, yet we can put that off as well. Whatever definition of procrastination applies to us individually, it really is possible to make positive changes today and begin moving in a new direction.
A friend who knew I had written a book on this subject gave me a gift. Unwrapping it I found a little wooden plaque with a hand painted flower and these words on it…. “Procrastinate Now!” Ironic and humorous I still have it hanging on my wall.