“I shall begin, I said resolutely, to explore London…tomorrow.”
This could be the story of my life. And the stories of the lives of many other people: A strong determination and resolution to accomplish something a task. Then putting it off until tomorrow.
Often, tomorrow never comes.
I don’t mean that literally. In my lifetime, there has always been another tomorrow. The only difference is that the “tomorrow” in which the person accomplishes the desired task (ex. explore London) never comes.
The resolution and the determination are lost by the time tomorrow arrives.
This is the trap of procrastination where many hopes, dreams, and resolutions are caught. And they stay there.Do you recognize this trap?
The habit of procrastination is a way of life for many people without really knowing that this is their habit. Let’s take a look at procrastination and see what it really is.
The dictionary defines procrastination as
“the act of delaying or postponing something.”
No breaking news there. We all know that procrastination is a way of “putting it off” until another time or a later day. Let’s take a slightly different look at procrastination:
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~Don Marquis
It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield
The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow. ~Author Unknown
One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow. ~Vincent T. Foss
You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin
Someday is not a day of the week. ~Author Unknown
To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing. ~Eva Young
Don’t fool yourself that important things can be put off till tomorrow; they can be put off forever, or not at all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
And my personal favorite:
If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it. ~Olin Miller
These slightly humorous but profound perspectives on procrastination provide a reality check into its causes and consequences: more work, fewer results and the slippage of time.
There are so many different ways to “explore London tomorrow” but only one way to do it today. And that brings me to longstanding Nike slogan: “Just do it.”
But many people don’t “Just do it.” They put off doing it. They decide to explore London tomorrow. Many never get to see Buckingham Palace or Big Ben.
Why do we procrastinate? What are the causes of procrastination?
I have my thoughts (and certainly the experience) to develop a theory about the causes of procrastination—everything from fear to laziness. But there are experts on this subject who have clearly—and compassionately—laid out the causes of this terrible habit.
Take a look at what Marc and Angel in their Practical Tips for Productive Living Blog discuss about the causes of procrastination.
It’s an interesting and insightful approach to identifying and stopping this behavior before it can have negative effects in your life.
Will you explore London TODAY?
Will you complete that assignment TODAY?
Will you finish that project TODAY?
What will you do TODAY?
I admit that I took the “tomorrow is another day” point of view throughout my life. When I read the “exploring London” quote, I was jolted into the understanding of tomorrow as the nemesis of achievement., accomplishment, and completion. It gave me too much flexibility, too much space, and too much time. Goals are rarely completed tomorrow. Goals are achieved today.
Today creates the urgency and energy. When something must be done today, it gets attention and focus. Today is full of opportunities and determination. Today is THE day.
So, I’m going to explore London today and reap the benefit and rewards. I’m going to complete that project, finish that assignment, and start that diet today. In short, I’m going to live my life today—not start my life tomorrow.
If you’re still deciding whether to explore London today, then the following quote is for you:
“Procrastination is reading all the quotes on this page when you have a huge report due tomorrow.” R. T. A. Birektt
Stop reading now.
Go explore London today!
Special thanks to Marc and Angel for their insightful article at www.marcandangel.com!