We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. When was the last time you said “I’ll do it tomorrow”? For me, it was when I thought about writing this blog yesterday! Is it that we live in a reality where tomorrow will likely include fewer things to do, therefore we can push things out? No. So, is it that each day likely has a tomorrow and so we can delay doing the task into perpetuity? No. No matter what self-satisfying reason (if it’s something that is not hopeless laziness) that you are using to convince yourself to push “it” to tomorrow, let’s look at a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t:
- You’re not in college anymore, so procrastination is no longer “cool”
- You will eventually pass a deadline or disappoint someone by not getting it done in time
- When tomorrow comes around, you’ll either push it to tomorrow again – or you’ll end up taking focus away from other things while trying to get it done, since you’ve pushed it to tomorrow and now it’s, once again, past its deadline
- In some cases, it will probably only take 30 minutes, or much less time, to resolve it
- If you push it to “tomorrow” multiple times it will degrade the output (something will always come up and you’ll be rushed to put out a less than stellar work product)
- Here is one everyone has encountered: Related to working out, you will continue pushing it out and likely not start actually doing it until “Gym-uary” (as I now call January) as a new years resolution and that will only be maintained for a few weeks before it goes back to “I’ll do it tomorrow”
I am not intending to think about procrastination from a genetic or psychological standpoint, as I will leave that to the experts, but I know we all do it, so here are a couple of ways you can help yourself the next time you are wanting to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow”:
- Don’t make a “boil the ocean” type of list that includes items to accomplish over the next week, month, and year – rather make a list of the “must-dos” for the day. If you get to the end of the day and didn’t get to one, well, then you really aren’t at the end of the day yet 🙂
- If it’s a larger task – break it down into a few, or multiple, smaller tasks that you can manage more easily; that way it’s less daunting and you won’t keep wanting to put it off
- If it will take less than 30 minutes, just get it done!
I’ll end with one last thought… The “I’ll do it tomorrow” tactic is likely your mortal enemy to accomplishing important, but not urgent tasks. But, this one thing can be the difference between being a person that “gets shit done” versus someone who “falls behind the crowd”. Who do you want to be?