It may be hard for some of us who are naturally organized and prompt to understand why others put off doing something or even deciding to do something until certain situations force them into action. The main reason people procrastinate like this is because they can’t appreciate the value in finishing a task right away. That’s not to say however that each and every task is enjoyable – most procrastinators put off what they don’t enjoy doing. If you’re a procrastinator, you can evaluate why you don’t enjoy doing certain things and work to conquer those reasons in an effort to conquer procrastination.
For instance, perhaps you are a perfectionist and don’t believe that you can complete a project unless it’s perfectly done. To combat this mode of assured self-defeat, you must accept that your performance is just as well done as anyone else’s. We all can only do our best at whatever we do at any time. The end result may be different, however our effort and sincerity are the same. As a result, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. If you can feel confident and proud about the effort you put into your performance, there’s no reason to criticize it as “less-than-perfect” because in essence – your performance was about as perfect as you could make it!
Maybe you procrastinate things because you feel the work involved is too complicated. The only way to conquer this situation is to divide a task into smaller pieces and then perform each piece one at time before a set deadline. For example, if you need to write a 25 paragraph essay within a period of five days, you could write five paragraphs per day instead of waiting until the last minute to write all of them. In doing so, you’ll realize that a project becomes less overwhelming the more you work on it – bit by bit.
Conquering procrastination takes activity. And the keyword in ‘activity’ is ‘act,’ which is consequently a distinct action that we physically do or cause to happen. Now without action, ‘activity’ is useless and is a mere concept appearing on your screen or idea in your mind. But to make ‘activity’ meaningful, you must ‘act’ on it and physically move to manifest the concept into that which is tangible and that others can enjoy. By tangible, we mean a result that can be observed as a fact – not an opinion, not an idea, not a hope, and not a dream.
Nicole Miller is a developer and member of the Association of Shareware Professionals.