You’re tired from work. You’re not in the right mood. It’d be easier on the weekend. Procrastination isn’t just distraction. It’s the thought that you’ll do it better if you do it later. But that’s rarely true.
Most of us have an arsenal of excuses that convince us we’ll do a better job if we wait. After all, you won’t want to do the dishes after you just got home after working for ten hours, right? Except you also won’t want to do them when you’re cozy in your bed or while you’re relaxing on the couch. In short, the “right” moment doesn’t exist. As business blog Inc. explains:
The result is that we say things to ourselves like, “I’m too hectic on Mondays to really concentrate on thinking about strategy. I’ll do it later in the week.” Or “I’m too tired now to write that marketing email. I’ll have a clearer head tomorrow morning.” But when tomorrow morning or later in the week rolls around, we’re still just as uninterested and disorganized as we were earlier. Repeat cycle.
…Perhaps recognizing your own procrastination tendencies can help you see your own mood-based excuses for what they are—justifications for not getting down to work rather than legitimate decisions about when it’s best to schedule a task. That, in turn, might help you resist the “procrastination doom loop.”
There are plenty of ways to learn your triggers and avoid distractions, but ultimately most procrastination boils down to “I can do it later.” Unless you’re in the middle of delivering a baby, chances are later won’t be substantially better than now. So skip the self-help and get started.
Photo by Steven Depolo.