Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
“Better yet, why do it at all?” said the little devil on my shoulder.
I have been plagued by one of those perfectionist personalities since my teen years, which is when my struggle with procrastination first reared its ugly head.
At the time, I could usually get away with putting off my assignments until the very last minute, which sometimes included reading a novel in one night or memorizing my lines for a play backstage right before the big presentation.
It’s gotten me in trouble a few times over the years – especially during my time at university – but for the most part, I’ve gotten away with it. And I’ll be honest, I do my best work when I’m under pressure.
But in certain instances, procrastination has become a bigger devil in my life than I’d like to admit and I’m finally ready to do away with him entirely.
You see, the psychology behind procrastination is simple.
One who procrastinates doesn’t do what they know they ought to do when they ought to do it.
Some will say it’s a fear of failure, lack of routine or structure, or an inability to just get down to the task at hand.
For me, it was the thought of trying to reach my self-imposed standard of perfection that kept me idle.
Of course, nobody is perfect, and I’ve begun to realize that an imperfect assignment is far more likely to achieve anyone’s stamp of approval than one thrown together last minute under the heat of pressure.
The key to me letting go of procrastination once and for all is for me to embrace the messy side of life, the imperfect, and sometimes flawed side of myself.
And so, despite the little devil on my shoulder urging me to put it off, I began writing this column.
With my fingers hammering away on the keyboard, I started typing about what was most on my mind and in my heart with the hopes that someone else reading this might relate to my struggle.
It’s never easy saying goodbye to an old friend when you’ve shared so many memories together.
Some of those memories have been thrilling, exciting, and at times, a veritable rollercoaster ride.
But most of the time, it’s been a one-sided relationship, where I often get the short end of the stick.
Like any unhealthy relationship that seems to be veering you off the right course in life, sometimes you have to pull out the tried-and-true adage: It’s not me, it’s you.
And so, with an optimistic smile, I say goodbye to my old friend procrastination. In the event he comes to visit again, I’ll give him a swift kick out the door.
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