Procrastination No More!

The little boy steps to the plate, licks his lips and chokes up on the bat. Will he swing today or remain in place banking on the chance that the pitcher will throw four balls. He was known for waiting for that elusive perfect pitch; he was content to take a walk. However, today he began to wonder what it would feel like to hear the bat connect with the ball in such a way that it sailed past the heads in the outfield. He knew he would have to swing at some point; you couldn’t move up in little league without some hits. As the ball came straight at him, he had another thought that entered his mind leading to his paralysis on the plate --- “What if I strike out?”

And there lies the authentic reason many of us procrastinate. We may tell ourselves we are too busy, the timing is off, or more resources are needed. These make us feel better, but they in no way assist us in moving past our fear of moving forward. Here are three simple steps that have aided me in reducing the habit of procrastination in my own life.

  •  Accountability --- If that little league player continues to stand at the plate without swinging, his coach is going to have a heart to heart conversation with him in an attempt to hold him accountable. Every time I’m accountable to someone and set deadlines, I become more productive and kick procrastination to the side. I actually fear having to report back that I didn’t try than I attempted and failed.
  •  Accept Uncontrollable Variables --- Often what leads to procrastination is the inability to control variables like the unknown, other’s acceptance, or outcomes. The critical decision when overwhelmed with what might occur (and to which you have no control) is to step forward despite realizing you only have control over your own actions.
  • Utopia doesn’t exist --- Stop waiting for the ever elusive perfect scenario to move forward with your hopes and dreams. Dreams are made in the mire of messy lives, less than ideal situations, and a simple hope for something different. Dreams are attained or lost by the faith to see what could be even though it is not so now. Learn to dream with your eyes wide open making them a reality.

Yes, you will strike out sometimes. However, you will never even have a chance for a homerun without swinging. Swing away by applying these three principles and watch procrastination become a distant memory and the potential of success at your fingertips!

Shagae Jones