Albert Opoku

Life Lessons: 8 – Procrastination kills

Life Lessons: 8 – Procrastination kills


Procrastination has been called “the thief of time”. Perhaps you have heard of its siblings: deferment, stalling, adjournment, putting off, delaying, and postponement. I guess you know this family of habits as well as I do.

If there is one disease I had that could not be diagnosed in the medical lab, it was the procrastination disease. I had battled and lost to this disease for a good part of my life. I did not give up the fight, as I was determined to win… and finally I did. If there was one thing I was sure of, it was the fact that procrastination will do me no good in life.

Misery loves company. Over the years I found several people who are also fighting this disease… maybe you are struggling with procrastination yourself. The good news is that you can win the battle. Simply knowing that you are not the only person fighting procrastination should give you the strength to keep on going on.

To enable me to conquer procrastination, I set out to find the root cause of my problem: myself. I discovered that I usually procrastinate with things that have to be done now, mainly because I do not enjoy doing them. It is a simple matter of logic. If I have to do “A” but put it off and spend the time doing “B”, it simply means that I hate doing “A”, but love doing “B”.

So, one way I try to fight the urge to procrastinate is to try to find something I will enjoy about “A” or will enjoy after I have done “A”. If there is nothing to enjoy about “A” before, during, or after doing it, I attempt to create something for it. What I usually do is to make “B” the reward for doing “A”, bribing myself to do “A”, by promising myself more time to do “B” after I have done “A”.

It does not mean I enjoy doing “A”, but by looking forward to the enjoyment of “B”, I get myself to get “A” done.

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