|Photo by Gavin Firkser|
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been kind of a last minute person (especially in school) and for the longest time, that strategy worked pretty well for me. I honestly thought that I could go through life that way. To some extent, I could. But if I want to go as far as I know I could go, I have to use a different strategy. Hopefully, a better one.
The thing about procrastinating is that it trains you to be a master in making excuses. Not only are you able to convince others with your excuses, you are able to convince yourself too. Excuses are nothing more than layers you put up between yourself and the reality of the situation, one that you know quite well but choose to avoid.
Sometimes I am able to catch myself in the act of making excuses and manage to correct myself in time – something that I wish to do more often as I progress.
Battling procrastination is not easy, especially if you have been doing it for as long as I have. You win some and you lose some. I’ve had my share of good days and bad days. The thing about the bad days is that most of them are preventable and what hurts the most is that I know it was preventable. Learning from failure is one thing. Learning from failure and do nothing about it is another thing entirely.
I can search the web and the bookstores for all the many different tips and tricks on how to fight procrastination, but none of them will do me any good if I don’t take any action. It might be just another excuse I’ve added in my list of excuses: I’m fighting procrastination by reading about how to fight procrastination (but take no action whatsoever). The excuse might sound brilliant in your head but when you put it in writing, it starts to sound ridiculous. You might laugh at yourself with your palm in your face thinking, “How did I manage to convince myself that it was a good excuse in the first place?”
This fight against procrastination won’t end in a day, just like the habit of procrastination didn’t develop in a day. After I finish writing this piece, the battle continues on. But hopefully as I count the days that pass, I am that much closer to winning for good.
I realize it’s not easy to talk about myself like this because I know that most of us have self-serving bias – the tendency to think good about ourselves in order to protect the ego. At times, this bias serves its purpose in a good way. Other times, it’s just an excuse to avoid the bitter truth.