Ok, so you have a project due next Friday. (Pro-tip: You don’t. Or you might, I don’t know your life. But let’s say you do.) You have an entire week to get it done. What is the first thing that you do?
- Some of us (Group A) may make a mental note and say, “This task only takes a few hours, I’ll get it done later this week.” How does that work out? Next Friday rolls around, and maybe you need an extension.
- Others (Group B) may mark the due date down in their calendar and schedule out some time to work on it next week. “I can get it done next week, starting first thing Monday morning.” The sun rises on Monday morning, and you think, “Oh, let’s just start on Wednesday.” Hope that works out for you.
- Then there are those (Group C) who will take note of the due date, go home, and begin work on it that night. “If I get it done now, I won’t have to worry about it later.” Now for those of you that are actually in Group C, CONGRATULATIONS! You may not need to read on at all, but boy do I hope you do.
For most of us, myself included, I would guess that we reside somewhere between Groups A & B. But why? How has this actively helped us? We all know that procrastination is a stressful and less productive alternative to actually completing said task. So why, for the love of all that is healthy, why do we inflict the stress, the anger, and the GUILT of procrastination upon ourselves? Because we are creatures of habit. Habits drive us as a species, allowing us to get into a groove and operate more efficiently in the ways that we frequently do. If Procrastination is your habit, you can be damn sure that you will become an efficient procrastinator and figure out the best ways to avoid that project. How do we break that habit?
So, teamwork aside (We, Us, You), I may only speak within the frame of my own experiences. I have battled with procrastination for as long as I can remember. Given a daunting, or slightly unpleasant task, I would almost always postpone my efforts until the last minute. Even when I would plan ahead, I would often become distracted by other “productive” chores. “I can’t start on those storyboards with all of these dishes.” As I begin washing the dishes, (Which I despise.) “That’s ok, I can do my storyboards after the dishes.” Cut to five and a half hours later, my room is spotless, all the dishes are put away, my laundry has been done, and the oil has been replaced in my car. “Geez, I got a lot done today, I should reward myself.” I turn on Netflix, and probably binge watch a season of Archer, because that show is hilarious and I figure that “One more episode can’t hurt.” But the storyboards aren’t done. In fact, nothing else on my Film (Insert-career-or-goal-here) to-do list has been completed. I fooled myself into working on projects that were less important to me, but why?
I am not an expert on the study of Procrastination, however, my buddy (I totally don’t know him.) Professor Timothy Pychyl is an expert that has studied Psychology and Procrastination since 1995. Today, I was browsing Reddit, more specifically R/GetMotivated, and there was a link to a lecture that he gave on Helping Students with Procrastination. So, while on the treadmill at the gym, I watched the entire thing. It’s only an hour long, but it is full of so much wonderful insight into why I tend to procrastinate and where my warning signs lie. This arsenal of knowledge has helped me so much in the last few hours. It gave me the courage and willpower to approach actually blogging on my site, something I have wanted for a long while, but a fear of imperfection and failure has prevented.
If you struggle with procrastination, don’t hesitate to watch THIS video. Break it up into quarters if you have to, but be sure to watch some of it RIGHT NOW! And if you’ve read all the way to the bottom here, I want to thank you very sincerely. I’m hoping to do more of these, as well as incorporating some of these into my reboot of “Andrew Haze Talks About Nothing” on Youtube.(Hey, you could checkout My Channel and see some fun shorts!) Most importantly, I’d love any amount of feedback, as that will help me better focus my energy on improving in ways that I may not think of. So, comment, share, subscribe, and follow, whatever you want to do! Thanks all!