Start, Stop & Change: procrastinating

When you have too much of something to do, is your tendency to do nothing?

  • You haven’t entered any of your expenses in QuickBooks for the year—and it’s August. It’s such a gargantuan task, you put it off another day, week, month.
  • Your big presentation is six weeks away. You have to research, draft content, design slides, create handouts, and practice presenting. It’s easily going to require 50 hours. Overwhelmed, you don’t put in even a single hour.

Of course, you know what happens. The expenses don’t input themselves and the presentation doesn’t magically appear.

And the longer you put off these big To Dos, the bigger they get in your mind. The passing of time does not make them more doable.

With each passing day you don’t get started, getting started becomes all that much harder.

And as the deadline looms, you have not only the task to deal with, but also the stress of time running out. Delaying makes pressure the backdrop of your procrastination.

We want the magic formula of 3 easy steps to never procrastinate again. But if there’s a magic solution, I don’t know what it is.

Instead, in my decades of losing and winning at the procrastination game, here’s the only thing I’ve figured out: Start.

Yes, that advice is simplistic and obvious and not at all earth shattering. But its simplicity and obviousness don’t make it less true.

  • You don’t have to input 8-month’s worth of expenses into QuickBooks in one sitting. You just have to start.
  • You don’t have to craft a presentation from beginning to end in a day. You just have to start.

And then, of course, start again tomorrow and the next day and the next…

Starting stops procrastination in its tracks. Starting is the only way to stop the energy drain, guilt, and stuckness of doing nothing.

What have you been putting off? Will you start today?