Why do you always put things off until the last minute?
You waited too long, AGAIN.
I grew up with these messages streaming through my head. I don’t actually remember anyone saying these things to me, but that nagging voice in my head has been there for as long as I can remember.
As well as the SHAME. I must be a bad person. I will never be successful. No one else waits until the last minute. How embarrassing! I have no discipline.
I am a PRO at PROcrastinating. And I’ve tried a lot of strategies to stop. To no avail. I still wait until the last minute to get most things done. HOWEVER, I no longer feel ashamed about it!
Here’s my unpopular opinion on procrastination: It’s okay to procrastinate!
Truly, it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you continue to procrastinate and panic. I’m proposing that you PLAN your PROCRASTINATION.
Put aside all the negativity around the word. Be curious about why you put things off. And come up with a plan to embrace it!
Understand WHY You Procrastinate
My brain does not seem to be motivated until I am up against a deadline. Even if I sit down a week early to work on a project, purposely not procrastinating, I get nothing done. No ideas, no creativity. Give me some urgency and I’ll knock it out of the park very quickly.
Sometimes I put off a task because it feels overwhelming to me. I’m not sure where to start or I have to learn something new. If I recognize this, I can break down the project into smaller steps and get started on the first one.
Why do YOU procrastinate? Put aside your judgment around it and look at it with curiosity. Understanding why you’ve been putting off a task is the first step.
Plan for Success
The main reason we dislike procrastination is because it leads to overwhelm and lack of sleep. But if you PLAN to complete something at the last minute, you can create plenty of time without five other projects looming over your head.
Here’s how this looks for me…
To write this blog post I needed to create urgency. Since it’s really just a task that I created for myself (I don’t have a boss to check in with me), I told a friend that I’d send it to her for editing by a specific day. I purposely picked a day that had fewer commitments. I don’t want to annoy my friend by sending it too late, so I have a deadline.
Based on other blog posts, I know I need about an hour of time to write a draft. So I set aside a block of time, the same day I said I’d get my draft to my friend. Notice how this is last minute!
Next I need to get past the potentially overwhelming tech issues. I haven’t been on WordPress in awhile and I remember that there are a lot of steps. So, I break it down. First step – just write! Forget everything that comes next.
Embracing my Procrastination
My best work comes when I procrastinate! Why wouldn’t I ditch the negativity and use procrastination to my advantage? The secret is to plan to procrastinate. With trial and error, I’ve figured out what works for me. No more sleepless nights or overwhelm and a whole lot of success!