Procrastination: Why do we do it?

By Bruce Burke

One on One’s Focus Point of the Week is designed to help us succeed with our fitness, nutrition and lifestyle objectives. If there is one practice that can challenge us in all three of these areas, it is procrastination. Its ability to sabotage our success in so many ways makes it worthy of being this week’s Focus Point.

As we all know, procrastination is simply putting off a responsibility, a task or even a kind-hearted gesture. What we too often seem to forget is that, in most instances, we are eventually going to have to take action. That being true, why do we allow ourselves days, weeks or even months to carry this baggage around in our heads? It is always there, gnawing at us…needlessly encroaching on our serenity and self-esteem. Issues such as managing our health, our finances and our relationships clearly should not be put off until later. Why on earth do we do it?

This “internal” reason should be motivation enough not to procrastinate, but there are also “external” consequences to consider. For example, when making a commitment to someone, why flirt with the bad will (or worse) that goes along with having that person remind you of your obligation? After all, YOU ARE GOING TO DO IT ANYWAY! In the end, you did what you had to do and made a withdrawal from what we call your “emotional bank account” with that person. Think about it…if you are going to have to do it anyway, why not make a deposit? If your Mom wants you to clean your room or the boss wants a report done, do it and leave them thinking “job well done” instead of “they did it…after I reminded them about it three times.”

If you choose to procrastinate, that is up to you. But when medical emergencies, computer problems or a thousand other unexpected issues come up and prevent you from succeeding in the progressively shrinking time-frame you have created for yourself, accept responsibility. It is nobody’s fault but your own.

If you struggle with procrastination, try using our Time Management strategies to get on track. Remember, if there is something that you are absolutely going to have to do, do it and make that emotional deposit!


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