I have been meaning to write this post for a long time. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)
A report is sitting in another opened document on my computer. It is half written and badly in need of detail and creativity. One of our clients is expecting it in two days. But as I was working on it, I found myself thinking of writing this blog post.
So I left it alone.
I’ll come back to it.
As far back as I can remember, I have put things off. After all, why do today what is boring, hard, or just not fun? If you think that sounds undisciplined and shallow, you are absolutely right.
When I was young, I actually didn’t mind being a procrastinator. It felt freeing to me to just do things whenever I wanted to. But as I have become older, I realize I am not as productive or efficient as I want to be. What’s worse, I notice that others around me seem to be just as undisciplined as I am.
So I am looking to…
Oh, sorry I left and checked my email. A little “ding” sound emanated from my computer and I had to check it. Turns out that a new Groupon is available for me. Where was I? Oh, yeah, I was confessing my habit of procrastination.
It’s not an addiction; it’s just a habit. A bad habit.
Here are 3 confessions of a procrastinator:
- I like to start stuff. There, I said it. I like to get things going. Doesn’t sound like a confession does it? Well, I like to start stuff but I don’t like to finish it. I get bored and restless. Details become unimportant to me and even though I believe in paying attention to details, truth be known, I believe in someone else paying attention to them. I confess that I am easily distracted because I love the feeling of new.
- I am addicted to fun. Wow, my second confession is a little scary. It is frightening to think that I might be irresponsible because of the high priority I place on enjoyment. I am grateful for Christian values and for a mostly consistent moral compass or else who knows where this confession could have led me. Do you value fun? I think everyone and every organization should. But at what cost? I confess that sometimes I procrastinate so that I can have fun. I admit that delayed gratification is not a high value in my life.
- I care too much about what others think. For years I have been a speaker, trainer, and coach. When I know that others are going to be affected by what I do, I get my work done in a thorough and timely fashion. However, if no one would notice right away, I may put my work off until later. What’s the difference? I won’t procrastinate if what I am doing will cause others to think highly (or poorly) of me.
Maybe you expected different kinds of confessions. For years I viewed my procrastination by its symptoms – like a lack of discipline, a lack of focus, ADD, or too many commitments. Sure, those indicators can be very real. But they are just symptoms. My confession is that, for me, procrastination’s root cause runs much deeper.
I guess maybe now might be a good time to tell you why I am coming clean to my propensity to put things off. The reason is simple. I’ve finally realized that for me, procrastination is a character issue. Growth, personal growth, spiritual growth… whatever you want to call it, always effects character.
Procrastination is my number one area in need of change, and so far I am learning a ton. But for now, confession is good for the soul. What do you need to confess?