Martin Luther proclaimed “How soon not now, becomes never.” Edward Young said it this way “Procrastination is the thief of time.” In the book “It’s About Time”, Dr. Linda Sapadin says: “Procrastination inevitably diminishes one’s self-esteem, which results in a loss of optimism, happiness, and creative energy. People who suffer from chronic procrastination and do nothing about it find it increasingly difficult to strive toward personal goals or, often, even to formulate them.”
The real harm with In-a-Minute syndrome aka Procrastination is how it affects us negatively both mentally and emotionally. Each year, countless people join in the timeless tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions to only see one year come in and go out with little to no significant changes. Failing to realize as Nadia Boulanger put it “Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.”
The bottom line is we must establish a “DO IT NOW” mindset to see any significant changes and/or success in our lives. Author Kerry Gleeson promotes that cultivating this type of habit is intended to reinforce an action-oriented lifestyle: to become more decisive, to start, and to stay in motion.
It makes perfect sense to me since procrastination appears as either indecisiveness, lack of motivation/discipline to start, or to keep going once we’ve started. The interesting part about procrastination is the various thought patterns that accompany it.
Most of us tend to exaggerate how long an unpleasant task may take or how bad it really is. While others are afraid to either make a decision or suffer from perfectionism with the mindset of “If I cannot complete it perfectly, when why bother to do it at all”. In other words, the latter are afraid to make a mistake.
I believe with the new year one mantra can set 2016 apart from any other year and that is “Do it now means do it now!” By learning to do it now, you’ll short circuit the habit of procrastination. So the remedy for those who suffer with In-A-Minute syndrome is as follows:
Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone. – Thomas Carlyle
DECIDE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE -Most people are afraid to be decisive. Fearing what consequences they may have to live with as a result. If need be, make a pros and cons list and determine the worst possible consequences of any decision you could possibly make and then ask yourself can you life with it. If the answer is yes, go for it. Be decisive, take action, get on with the business of living your life to the fullest.
The greatest amount of wasted time is the time of not getting started. – Dawson Trotman
GET STARTED – Walt Disney has been credited for saying “The stopping is in the starting.” Most time management gurus recommend adopting the worst first method to accomplishing tasks. Choose the task you enjoy least and do it first. M. Scott Peck calls acting on unpleasant tasks first as “delaying gratification”. He also points out that people who procrastinate tend to seek immediate gratification.
Perfectionists are extreme in their thinking: If they’re going to do something, they reason, they should do the best possible job that can be done. There is no acceptable “middle ground.”….Faced with a demanding task, perfectionists are inevitably torn between two extremes: giving all they’ve got, or giving up altogether. -Dr. Sapadin
KEEP GOING – Doing it right can be subjective. Mistakes are bound to happen just remind yourself it doesn’t have to be perfect and if by chance you make a mistake, then remember just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake. Keep going until the task is complete and refine it as you go along. Certainly do it right and make certain you establish what right is and DO IT NOW!!
That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
MAKE IT A HABIT – Discipline yourself to act now, and it will very soon become a habit. With time, habit will lessen the need for discipline. To be honest, this is more than dealing with In-A-Minute syndrome. It is also about altering our self-image too. It is very much about viewing ourselves as proactive, capable, action-oriented, and that we’re larger than any problems we face. The resolve to do increases self-trust. And the more we trust ourselves the more unstoppable we become.
I encourage you to make it a priority over the next 30 days to adopt this “DO IT NOW” mindset. For the next 30 days, decide what needs to be done, get started, and keep going until the task is complete. What a perfect way to start your new year.
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