"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill." ~Christopher Parker
We all procrastinate.
I procrastinated starting this post. I checked my emails, looked at Facebook, filled my coffee cup, and got something to eat.
In this age of constant distractions, we are tempted to procrastinate more than ever. In fact, distractions have almost become addictions.
The phone buzzes and we look. The email dings and we click over. We have multiple tabs open on our computer luring us away from the task at hand.
We get agitated and anxious when we're too far away from our phones or computers, or if we can't check our messages, social media, or the news. We need our fix of instant gratification.
Every distraction is a thief, stealing our determination to do what needs to be done or what we deeply desire to achieve.
Procrastination is often the result of fear -- fear of failure or fear of success. But most of these fears are smoke and mirrors without any true substance. We allow these fears to pull us away from the task at hand.
We also tend to procrastinate simply because we dread difficult tasks. We don't want to tax our brains or expend the energy necessary to get started.
But as you've probably experienced, the getting started part is the most difficult. Once you start, momentum carries you forward. If you keep procrastinating, you'll never catch that wave of momentum.
Procrastinating not only steals precious time and momentum we could be devoting to achievement, but also it steals our energy and motivation.
The more we procrastinate on something important, the worse we feel about ourselves.
The worse we feel, the less motivation we have to get moving on our work.
The less motivation we have, the more we procrastinate with mindless distractions and make-work.
The beginning step in overcoming procrastination is the awareness that you do it and the awareness of how harmful it is.
Think about this: you likely spend at least one hour a day procrastinating. That's seven hours a week -- nearly a full work day. So you lose 52 full work days a year to procrastination. What could you do with an extra 52 work days?
You could write a book.
You could start a business.
You could build a blog.
You could go back to school.
You could teach yourself a new language.
You could finish several big work projects.
You could take on a $20 per hour side gig and make an extra $7280.
There are so many things you could accomplish with those extra 365 hours a year. But what can you accomplish by procrastinating? What can you accomplish looking at social media, checking email, stacking papers, or whatever else you do when you procrastinate?