I don’t know about you but I think it’s time we talked about this. We have about one and a half months to the end of the year and there are 2 things we’re not about to do: 1. Procrastinate till the end of the year and 2. Start a new year with old habits. The Oxford Dictionary defines laziness as, ‘The quality of being unwilling to work or use energy; idleness’ and defines procrastination as ,‘The action of delaying or postponing something.’ I’m not looking for a crowd to make me feel better, but raise your hand if this is something you’ve battled before or are currently battling😄
This was me, was and not is. Part of why I don’t want to use the word ‘is’, is because I don’t want to embrace that definition as part of me. I’m smart, hardworking, brilliant but not lazy and definitely not a procrastinator. I repeat these words over and over until I’m them and trust me, I’m getting there if not already there. But then again, I’m not using ‘is’ because that’s my past. I had to not only admit that I was struggling in that area but also work on it. Do you know how it breaks my heart when I hear people say with so much confidence and acceptance that they’re lazy? Please never confess such a thing about yourself unless you’re doing so to work on it. Words have power.
As mentioned in a previous post, I had a hard time this year especially in my business. What I need to add is that laziness and procrastination had a HUGE part in that. I was a confident last minute person especially when it came to school work and exams. The old me would probably put ‘Works well under pressure’ in their CV because I would still perform well under the last-minute pressure that inevitably comes with procrastination. Maybe I’m being too deep, but that culture planted a seed that did not magically disappear when I was done with school. It continued. But this is the thing about life; it doesn’t come with a specific time set for CATs and exams. They just show up. And in that moment you think of things you could have done but you’ve been postponing them, you’ve been lazy to do them, you’ve been procrastinating.
I would really procrastinate. Ever been given a task and there’s no need to plan when you’re going to do it because it’s automatic that you’ll do it the night before it’s due? Or sometimes wake up early morning on the due date? My dear readers, that was me 😄. This even got me to research why we procrastinate. Are we just born like this? Is it inherent in us to do so?
According to numerous behavioral psychology researches, our brains value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards. There’s your Present Self and your Future Self. Your future self sees the need to do things now that will have a positive effect in the long term. Your present self on the other hand loves instant gratification. It’s about the short term happiness for your present self. Your future self knows, for example, that it’s never too early to start saving and investing, it will bring you good rewards in the future. Your present self wants that bag, pairs of shoes and that party now!! Before you know it, you procrastinate saving and investing until your future catches up with you.
I’ve been lazy and procrastinated keeping a good financial record for my business. I procrastinated doing tasks that would have made a difference now. I’ve even procrastinated saving for a trip! You see, when we’re in school, it becomes easy to notice procrastination because the biggest tasks at that time are assignments and studying for exams once a semester, things which are very quantifiable. But in the real world, you can be lazy and procrastinate and no one will know. There’s no exam to show this…yet. As an entrepreneur, it’s worse if you don’t take care. You have no boss to give you deadlines, you create the deadlines in most cases. But we must be aware of the weakness that’s in us and be deliberate on working against it. In most cases, the problem is not doing the work but starting it.
Next week I’ll share some of the things I’ve done to help me in this area and also mention a book I’ve been reading that has been an eye-opener. In the meantime, let’s keep each other accountable. What have you been lazy to do? What have you been procrastinating? Start it NOW!