Every time I put off a decision, hit the snooze button, skipped the gym, or didn’t complete my tasks because I didn’t feel like it, I always had an explanation for my continual procrastination.
I told myself I was tired. Or that it could wait until tomorrow. Who cares if you put off something, right?
Well, you should care.
Because you’re the one who’s responsible for your life. Too often, we look at productivity tips, apps or tools as the magic answer to our problems. But that also means we allow ourselves to blame external things for our lack of productivity.
Procrastination has been around since the start of modern civilization.
Historical figures like Herodotus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and hundreds of others have talked about how procrastination is the enemy of results.
One of my favorite quotes about procrastination is from Abraham Lincoln:
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
The funny thing about procrastination is that we all know that it’s harmful. Who actually likes to procrastinate? No one enjoys doing that. Me neither.
And yet, procrastination was the story of my life. When I was in college, every semester, this would happen:
Tomorrow has the potential to be better than today. But this day is the only day you have. And it’s the best day of your life.
“I’ll start tomorrow.” I’ve said that hundreds of times. I’ve said it when I talked about running, writing, working, eating healthier, saying thank you, or any other habit that I wanted to start/improve.
And did that behavior help me? You know the answer to that.
Procrastinating is a bad habit. Research shows that the best way to get rid of a habit is to replace it with another habit.
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
The best way to replace procrastination is by adopting a habit of taking action.
For the most part of my life, I’ve been a habitual procrastinator. When I had my first summer job at age 16, I did everything to not work. I had an inside sales job at a telecom company and I had to sell mobile contracts to clients.