Mrs. Peterson had assigned it last week. At first, he had intended to do the project, but a couple of days after it was assigned, Mrs. Peterson was absent, and they had a substitute teacher. So he decided to put it off until Mrs. Peterson came back.
But she hadn’t come back all week! And now here he was with nothing to show for himself. Even so, he still wasn’t too worried about it – the substitute hadn’t mentioned the science project at all. So Jimmy played some more and went to bed.
The next day, Jimmy walked into science class to find Mrs. Peterson sitting at her desk. He felt his heart sink.
“I’m sorry I was away so long,” she said. “But I hope you all have been working on your science projects. I’m really looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.”
When he got home from school, Jimmy got to work frantically, trying to put together a project. He stayed up very, very late. Finally, he had something he could turn in, though the measurements were rushed and the project had come out all wrong.
Jimmy got his project back a week later with a big red D written on the front, then his mom took away all his video games.
Poor Jimmy! Losing all that sleep and his video games, too! But what’s a kid to do? His teacher was gone all week...
We can always find excuses for putting off the things we need to do. We’re missing a person on the team, the instructions weren’t clear, we have other projects that take priority, the deadline is a long way away – the list can go on and on.
But the truth is circumstances may never be ideal for anything.
If we use excuses and justifications to avoid beginning important projects, we’ll always deliver a mediocre performance.
Procrastination is defined as putting things off that you should be doing now. We all do it from time to time, but when it becomes a way of life, we shortchange ourselves and never become the person we can be.
Why do we procrastinate? We can convince ourselves with any number of excuses. We’re waiting for the right mood, or the right time, or we don’t know how to start, so we just don’t do anything.
It’s helpful to take a real honest look at yourself:
Why do you put things off that you know you should be doing?
Is there a lack of a clear goal?
Do you need to strengthen your decision-making skills?
Are you a perfectionist?
Do you have a fear of failure?
Once you’ve pinpointed those reasons for putting things off, eliminate them from your life! Don’t allow excuses and justifications to keep you from becoming the best leader, parent, or partner you can be.
Ensure your success by beginning tasks promptly and eliminating procrastination from your life. Doing so is a major step to becoming a productive person, a reliable friend, and an honorable partner.
More things to ask yourself:
Do I make excuses for putting off projects I should be working on?
What is the root cause of my procrastination?
How can I plan to finish tasks on time without the panic of a last minute rush?