Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 04 | August 2016 - Page 11

"Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?" I can think of at least a hundred reasons right now-- all of which sound remarkably legitimate.

I'm a deep thinker. I'd rather read poetry and watch the birds flitter in a backyard puddle than do anything that requires focused effort. Therefore, I have become a skilled procrastinator. You might even say I'm the queen of procrastination. But I’m also an entrepreneur. So where does that leave me? For many years, you could find me pulling all-nighters on the eve of some deadline, eyes wild with ambition and fingers flash dancing on the keyboard. When I wasn't procrastinating, I was living life in panic mode, and I quickly discovered that putting things off was actually self-destructive. So how did I, how does any well-meaning, even energetic, entrepreneur, end up in such a mess? Tomorrow is to blame...

The Myth of Tomorrow

How many times have we vowed to do a task tomorrow? If you’re like so many people I know, you use the “t’ word often, and it’s a trap I tell ya! Here’s the truth about tomorrow: it never comes. It’s a mythical span of time where motivation mingles with commitments. Tomorrow is what I tell myself so I’ll feel good about putting something off today. But “tomorrow” is a placeholder, a procrastination tool I have used like a shovel to bury those critical tasks I’d rather not do. Sound familiar?

Procrastination is Crafty, Not Necessarily Lazy

There’s no shame in admitting to this nasty habit. It’s actually something many entrepreneurs struggle with. And in our defense, it’s not always a sign of pure sloth. I am not a lazy person. In fact, I often use work as an excuse to procrastinate. Because busyness can be bullshit, too. Here's a peek at what procrastination looks like for me: I open my inbox to find 26 emails awaiting a response. My calendar reminds me that I've got 11 pages of content due on some insipid subject outside of my expertise. I’ll have to do research, and fact-finding, and the whole process will be a snoozer. Groan. Suddenly, I have the insatiable urge to spring clean my closets, run three miles, mop my floors -- anything to keep me from the tedium of those other tasks. So I keep myself busy doing important things that aren’t pressing. Meanwhile, time-sensitive tasks are rotting in my office.

The truth is, procrastination is the sneakiest form of self-sabotage. And when I put off the inevitable, I only make a bigger monster of that monotonous chore, at least in my own mind. And that’s why procrastination is the opposite of self-care. It’s a surefire way to mismanage my time and push myself into

How I Climbed

Out of the Procrastination Pit

by Rica Lewis