There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting. -Gautam Buddha
Do you put things off until tomorrow? Do you get sidetracked from your goal by involving in many low priorities tasks? Do you wait for the perfect time to do things and then miss opportunities? Do you avoid dealing with difficult issues with the hope that they will go away? Do you ignore minor problems until they turn into full blown predicaments that demand your immediate attention? If all or any of the answer is ‘yes’ then you are suffering from a serious ailment called procrastination.
Termites are small insects often referred as white ants. They live inside wood and eat it from inside. From outside, the wood looks healthy, okay and normal but from inside due to eating of termites become hollow and thus useless and of no practical importance of any kind. A huge tree could be fall by a little blow or its own weight owing to its hollowness from inside as a result of termite activities. The problem of termite is considered very seriously in many countries of the world that no insurance is guaranteed to those houses which are found to be infected by termites.
Procrastination may be considered as termite of success. Like termite, the habit of procrastination eats away the personality of a person from inside. He may look normal and confident in appearance but from inside he is broken and could be blown away by little push of life.
A bollywood blockbuster ‘Tare zameen par’ literally mean ‘Stars on the earth’ is a story of child who is suffering from a learning disorder called dyslexia in which one is having difficulty in learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal intelligence. The child in the movie conceals his inability of reading and writing properly into his naughtiness. Others think of him as mischievous and wicked but he is helpless and do not want to reveal his incompetence to become a subject of prank among others. He found his self respect in being called as naughty but do not to become a center of pity and sympathy in society. The problem is same with procrastinators. Procrastination appears as laziness, the habit of resting before one gets tired but underlying problems may be different and even serious.
Procrastination is not mere laziness but a mask behind which deeply rooted serious threats of success are hiding. The underlying problems may be inadequate purpose, lack of goal or motivation, shortage of planning, lack of physical or mental strength to execute plans, fear of criticism or rejection, fear of committing mistakes or taking risks etc. Sometimes lack of concentration also fans procrastination. Arrange a separate working place, make its environment work friendly and do not let others to enter it and disturb its interior harmony.
Write down your goal and purpose for achieving the goal. Try to give a pictorial representation either by self drawing or cutting pictures from somewhere else and pasting on paper. Daily review it at least twice a day; one before sleeping and another just after awaking in the morning. If possible, try to visualize it on mind’s screen at junction of eyebrows and nose. If you are seeing it in dream while sleeping is a good sign.
Make a schedule of your daily work and include activities of morning walk and listening music in daily routine.
There was once a problem with Indian Railways. Indian Railways is the world’s ninth largest commercial employer and one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,000 km and 7,500 stations. The problem was untimely running of trains. This created a situation of panic over the nation. Lots of complex strategies were discussed over the issue but solution came in the form of simple idea; an idea of extending duration of running time between the stations. If you are not able to finish your assigned work in the given time then reschedule time span with requisite extension. This will boost a new energy and confidence in your bloodstream.
Prepare a hierarchical list of procrastination activities based on your extent of resistance. Start with lower level in the list having less resistance to activity. Action is the only antidote to procrastination. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “A man is hero not because he is braver than anyone else but because he is brave for ten minutes longer.” Just do it when you feel procrastination’s cloud over your head. In the words of Pablo Picasso “Action is the foundational key to all successes.” After successful completion of task, reward yourself. Reward may be anything; it may be collection of pebbles for each completion. It is a symbolic activity to reassure you that you have done this and could do anything else. By seeing your collection and increasing numbers of pebbles in it infuse a new enthusiasm in you.
Fear is nothing but indecision and postponement. Indecision crystallizes into doubt; the two blend and become fear. On the other hand, a firm decision melts fear and its execution in form of action evaporates away the fear.
The art of a young cartoonist was stated as rubbish and rejected by many cartoon editors. He was Walt Disney whose concept of Mickey Mouse was widely acclaimed and even considered as masterpiece. J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, was rejected by 25 publishers. So procrastination directed by fear of criticism or rejection is a lame excuse for not to proceed a action.
Mistakes are footsteps of learning. The most important fact about mistakes is that many important discoveries and successes came about as a result of so called mistake. Charles Goodyear, during an experiment in 1839, accidentally spilled a mixture of sulphur rubber on to a hot stove. The result of this smelly-smoky was vulcanized rubber and the birth of a billion dollar industry. The group of effective medicines on bacterial infection called antibiotics was also discovered as accidental mistake.
The greatest risk ever mentioned in history is the risk of not taking any risk and if you are prepare to take that risk then you are capable of taking any risk.
Just do it! First you make your habits; then your habits make you. -Lucas Remmerswaal