I love writing for BEALEADER. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jen Olney and for the entire BEALEADER team. My fellow writers are superstars. Sometimes, though, I struggle with what to write about. I wonder if I have anything valuable to contribute to the conversation. And so I procrastinate. I put off doing what I could do today, in favor of the inevitable “tomorrow”.
I find myself doing this often, in many areas of my life. Before I became an independent consultant, I would scoff internally during every job interview, when asked “What is your greatest weakness?” certain that I could never reveal the truth: I am a tremendous procrastinator.
I believe that procrastination a pretty common flaw; in fact it’s often the butt of jokes (“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.” Joan Konner). But it isn’t actually very funny. It causes me to be filled with angst. And that angst fuels further procrastination. It’s a vicious cycle.
When I envision a bicycle moving – that is, a wheel turning, something moving in a “cycle” – there are two ways to bring that cycle to a stop. One is a quick jar – a sudden stop, a collision with some object. This is likely to cause the cyclist to come crashing forward, flying uncontrolled through the air to land forcefully on the unforgiving ground. Do I need to say that this doesn’t sound appealing? The other way to stop the cycle is to gradually put on the brakes, in a controlled fashion, giving time to plan and plot a point of arrival, and then reach that point feeling confident and secure.
So I’m going to start “stopping” by choosing one thing that I habitually put off, and, well, stop putting it off. I’m betting it will feel pretty good, and I’ll want to stop putting off other stuff. And I’ll continue to devolve the cycle of procrastination until I reach a new equilibrium, one where procrastination is a thing of the past and I can boldly and confidently embrace today and all its potential, with no need to worry over the many things I’ve put off until tomorrow.