Why do we procrastinate? It depends – not just on which expert you consult, but on the person doing the procrastinating. For some of us, there’s a thrill in creating a time crunch, while for others, it’s about fear of success or failure. We might even put things off in order to avoid having to make a decision, and in so doing, taking responsibility for our choices. The problem, of course, is that no choice is always secretly a choice.
Bottom line, even if you’re a committed procrastinator, you probably know that your life would be easier and more satisfying if you could make yourself get stuff done right away, instead of borrowing from your future self’s schedule.
But, knowing and doing are two very different things. Maybe a little inspiration will help you bridge the gap:
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
“Procrastination is your body telling you you need to back off a bit and think more about what you are doing.” – James Altucher
“The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It is true, that no diligence can ascertain success; death may intercept the swiftest career; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking has at least the honour of falling in his rank, and has fought the battle, though he missed the victory.” – Samuel Johnson
“If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“The essence of procrastination lies in not doing what you think you should be doing, a mental contortion that surely accounts for the great psychic toll the habit takes on people. This is the perplexing thing about procrastination: although it seems to involve avoiding unpleasant tasks, indulging in it generally doesn’t make people happy.” – James Surowiecki
“How we spend our days is how we live our lives.” – Annie Dillard
“I try to procrastinate, if I can, productively, like I’ll work on something else as procrastination. Or I take a walk. Because often I find, if you get out, more things come to you.” – Noah Baumbach
“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.” – Denis Waitley
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“There’s nothing wrong with procrastination. Or is there? I’ll leave it to you to decide, but only if you have the time.” – Craig Brown