National Procrastination Week starts on Sunday, so at first I was going to put off this post this until next week. Because you see, It is a celebration of procrastination as opposed to a week dedicated to overcoming procrastination and actually doing something. And I'm no stranger to the idea of putting things off that I don't need or want to do right now. In fact, I can be rather prone to not doing what I need to, even if I want to.
My Number One Reason to Procrastinate
It sounds pretty trite, but I am a perfectionist. Sometimes I refer to it as being a "planner." While it's true that I like to be informed and come up with a plan of action before I jump into something, often what my "planning" really is is a delay tactic. I don't want to do anything halfway, and I don't want to risk failing. So, in my attempts to have the "perfect" plan in place, with all outcomes and issues accounted for, I tend to not end up taking any action.
Consider, for example, my decision to start this business. I decided a few years ago that, if I could do anything I wanted, it would be helping people get organized. It's something that comes naturally to me, and I saw the benefits it had for my coworkers when I helped come up with systems for keeping our office and equipment sorted, labeled, and stored where everyone could find it. But I had a 40-hour-per-week day job. I was tired when I got home. I didn't know how to start a business. I would be so embarrassed if it didn't work out. I had signed up for my NAPO membership, but I waited. It wasn't the perfect time.
Then last spring we decided to move from Oklahoma to northern Indiana. My husband had found a job, but I was still looking for something to fill my days. I quit the job I had been in for 15 years without any real prospects. I found myself with all of this free time to fill. I kept looking for a "regular" job. I had some money saved to last me awhile, but I wasn't bringing any new income in. So now wasn't really the perfect time, either. You have to spend money to make money, but I didn't want to run out. I should get a predictable income first. I don't know anybody here, so how am I going to find clients? It wasn't the perfect time.
I honestly can't remember what the kick in the pants was that made me realize I was always going to find excuses for why it wasn't the right time. But something in me said that I needed to just do it while I had the time to dedicate. So I met with a small business advisor, took care of the paperwork, and started watching more training videos to get my NAPO specialist certificates. I began attending 1 Million Cups every week to learn about other local businesses and how they got started. I was finally DOING something about it, and you know what? It felt good!!!
It still isn't perfect. Things aren't always going exactly how I want them to. I am working a day job to make money while I build up knowledge and experience. It may or may not work out, but on this side of things I know I'm happier than if I was still putting it off.
Things to do instead of Procrastination Week
Instead of celebrating National Procrastination Week by relishing in the delay, realize that you'll be happier in the long run if you take action.
- Is there a hobby you've been thinking about trying? Don't worry about whether you'll do it perfectly. Just try it!
- Is there a conversation you keep putting off because it's hard or you're worried how the other person will react? Maybe it's time to get it out of your system.
- Does the leaky faucet in the bathroom really need fixing? Now is as good a time as any to take care of it.
- Have you been putting off doing something nice for yourself because everyone else needs your attention? Delay no more! Go to the spa or get your hair done this week.
Is there something you've been putting off that requires some encouragement? Share it in the comments!