How many times we have heard this proverb “Time and tide don’t wait for anyone”? Well, I guess millions of time from our childhood, but how many of us have actually grasped the inner meaning?
Most of us, waste away the precious moments of life sleeping and idling. In fact, an average person spends one-third of his/her life sleeping. Technology and innovation have been both a blessing and curse, the latest research tells us that young adults of today spend as much as one-third of their waking hours in the smartphone.
It means that more and more people are actually spending most of their time without any purpose. This is maybe the time to remember the heart-touching lyrics of Leo Sayer, "Don't Wait until Tomorrow".
We tend to forget that problem with waiting until tomorrow is that when tomorrow finally arrives it called today. We all suffer from this disease, when we keep thinking that, work can wait for tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.
There is a name for this syndrome and it calls procrastination. We all do it from time to time and sometimes it is with those mundane things like tidying up the wardrobe, updating the passbook or sorting through old files. But often it is with bigger things like updating the resume for a new job application or pursuing a long-held aspiration.
It is things that need more time, commitment and put us at more risk of sustaining a failure or feeling emotionally bruised provoke us to procrastinate.
We come up with all sorts of creative excuses for this, too busy, too uncertain, too inexperienced or too risky. These may be true occasionally but more often they are simply excuses for not doing the real work and feeling of emotional discomfort inherent in making meaningful changes in our lives.
At the center of this discomfort is fear and if unchecked these fears drive us to believe that if we procrastinate long enough, our situation will change or our problems will magically evaporate.
We keep telling ourselves that ‘one day’ we will summon the courage to make a change, that ‘one day’ will be better than ‘today’. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As the days roll by one after the other, our fears grow larger until one day they lead us to a burial ground of unfulfilled dreams and unexploited potential.
All the time, our procrastination cost us heavily on our finances, career, business, relationships and health. But how to get out of this habit? Here are some suggestions which have worked for many –
- Write down the goals and fixed a deadline for each of them
It is always helpful if you write down the goals on a piece of paper with dates you would want them to achieve. Be very particular about the deadline as a goal without it does not necessarily mean anything
- Break down your goal into smaller steps
The main reason why we procrastinate is that subconsciously we find the work too overwhelming for us. It is easier if you break down your bigger goals into as small steps as possible. If you still procrastinate even after breaking it down, then break it down further until the task seems so simple that you will be thinking. It is so easy to do.
- Try to visualize the future after achieving your goal
Positive thinking always helps, try to imagine your life after you would have achieved your goal. Imagine the expressions on the faces of your loved ones and how happy you would feel to achieve these goals.
- Accept fear sportingly
Fear is a powerful expression that can keep engulfed in excuses. But if you focus on what you do not want, you can actually overcome the fear. Writing down the negative impact of doing nothing for a year will help you to do just that. You need to be brave and honest while doing this exercise and then you would know that, if nothing changes, nothing will ever change!
- Share with people you trust and build a support team
Find someone or a chosen few to build up your personal board of advisors who could help keep you focused on your goal and on track. Talk to them frequently and share your progress and also ask them in which way they can help.
- Reward your progress by doing something you enjoy
Set yourself up with a reward system, so that you celebrate your progress, small successes or reaching of a milestone with a fun activity may be with your loved ones.
- Start your action today
In the end, it all boils down to taking action or doing. Gathering momentum is very important, so, you should commit yourself to stepping out of your comfort zone at least once per day and here making a daily timetable will help you immensely. So, start taking the first step and then another and hard work will always be rewarded.