Day 26: Tell us about a pattern you are trying to break.
Well, this was pretty easy as the answer kind of ‘popped’ up immediately in my head; I’m a pro-procrastinator! It’s the infamous pattern, bad habit and perpetual battle I’m immensely trying to break free from.
For years, I’ve been a master at postponing anything that needs to be done. And, it’s no help that I’m a master at making excuses. Back in school I would usually postpone homework, assignments or reading for exams until time was no longer on my side. My explanation (or excuse if you will) was usually that I worked better under pressure, which is true in the sense that I enjoy having time pressure on me. But I don’t recommend it though!
I became more aware of this pattern when I decided to pursue writing and write regularly. I’ve since realized that I have a problem in my hand and eventually started noticing a pattern.
It usually starts with a short (yet harmless) sentence: ‘I have plenty of time’ which means that I don’t need to get started right away, for time is very much on my side. At this point, I’m relaxed and I find plenty of other “important” things to do. I convince myself I’m being effective and productive!
If I haven’t started by now with whatever that needs ‘starting’ then procrastination goes on to a whole new level, where the next sentence stirs more trouble than anything else: ‘I’ll do it later’ which at this point I know for sure that I won’t, but I convince myself otherwise. This takes postponing to a completely different level.
I’ll make excuses. I’ll find other things that needs doing. I’ll waste time and justify my actions (or lack of it). Eventually, later becomes too late and my conscience kicks in taking me on a guilt trip.
Tomorrow then becomes a day where I spend my time catching up whilst battling and avoiding procrastination like the plague.
However, I’m well aware of this pattern and terrible habit, which is the first step. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that the only way to beat it is to commit to myself, personal goals and my time. No laters, no excuses – just work and a do it now habit. Once you know what you want and realize how you’re going to get there (FYI with hard work), you shift your mindset and start realizing how important it is to get things done rather than postponing it.
And let’s not forget the invigorated feeling you get after kicking procrastination’s butt (of course whilst getting work done) – that’s truly priceless. It’s a feeling accomplishment and that you’ve actually achieved something.
Alas, I know trying to break this pattern that’s gone undetected by those around me hasn’t been easy and obviously it’s not going to get easier either but it’s a habit and just like any habits – it’s breakable, with the right tool and mindset!
Are you a procrastinator? And how are you breaking this habit/pattern?
Now, it’s time I actually go pack for our family camping trip on Monday that I have been postponing for days and if I wait for later, it may never come! Happy Friday and hope you’ll have a pleasant weekend free of procrastination.