I’m not one to procrastinate, but every once in a while, I put off a particularly odious task for as long as possible because I can’t bear to do it.
Like many others who suffer from procrastination, this comes with a fair amount of anxiety, guilt, and unpleasantness. None of these emotions make the quality or speed of my work improve. They only ruin my day.
The obvious advice is just do the work. Then it will be over and I can move on to better things.
But sometimes I’m not in the right mindset to get myself there.
Once I acknowledge this, I no longer need to wallow or fret. Instead, I can choose to do something I enjoy.
While it isn’t great to put off necessary tasks, it is worse to put them off and still be miserable. So if I assess that I simply don’t have the willpower to front load the task, I now decide on what fun thing I am going to do instead. I don’t allow myself to stress now, since I’ve made up my mind not to focus on it until later.
This doesn’t always help me get things done quickly, but it does help me live a better life. And often, by the time I do revisit the task, I’m in a better place to handle it.
So next time you’re procrastinating, embrace it and put the extra time to good use!
Today’s advice comes courtesy of my mother, a very wise woman. This is my take on guidance she gave me many years ago.