Baker Schena Communications

Unleashing Your Potential through the Power of Words

Procrastination is Self-Sabotage

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King

All of us procrastinate at one time or another. I personally make a conscious decision to avoid procrastination as much as I can … but ask me if I’ve even started putting together my tax information for my accountant. With our appointment only a week away, I keep PROCRASTINATING because I can’t stand the process.

I know in my head that I must meet a looming deadline, but my heart just isn’t into it. Eventually, my head will prevail; I will bite the bullet and start organizing my receipts. But I sure would feel BETTER and LIGHTER today if I had completed this chore a month ago instead of letting it continue to hang over my head.

We all make excuses for procrastinating – and I’ve heard them all. We make excuses for not doing the dishes, getting an oil change, calling our parents, scheduling a check-up, exercising, paying bills, starting a homework assignment, visiting the dentist, filing our taxes, updating our resume – you name it, we procrastinate.

Why do I tend NOT to procrastinate? It’s all about control. When you procrastinate and wait until the last minute, you give up control of the situation – and opportunities are lost. Two great examples: if I wait until the second an article is due to deliver it to my client, I give up the opportunity to edit the piece and make it better. If I procrastinate on making a cancer-check appointment, I give up the opportunity to detect a new tumor in its early stages. Procrastination robs me of control … and the chance to be the best (and healthiest) mother, friend, teacher, motivational speaker and writer I can be.

When you stop procrastinating, you gain five key advantages:

1.     Time – Instead of letting procrastination rob you of precious time through delaying tactics (i.e. Facebook and solitaire), you can gain time for more pleasurable activities by taking care of the task TODAY.

2.     Less Stress – It is stressful to let a task hang over your head. The more you procrastinate, the higher the stress level. Who needs that?

3.     A Better Product – If you wait to the last minute to update your resume, or turn in a school or work assignment, or make a gourmet meal, you don’t give yourself the luxury of improving it before the deadline or dinnertime passes. Time is a luxury, and you can up your game by giving yourself enough time to review your work …or spice up your sauce.

4.     Improved Health – Stop procrastinating if you need to make an appointment for a check-up, or follow an exercise plan, or brush and floss your teeth regularly. As simple as it sounds, procrastination can negatively impact your health.

5.     MORE MONEY – A lot of money can be saved by shopping early for the best deals, giving yourself time to compare prices instead of waiting to the last minute, and avoiding late fees because you didn’t pay a bill on time.

Indeed, procrastination is self-sabotage – especially when you are transforming your dreams into reality. As the prolific author Stephen King says “just get up and go to work.”

Stop with the excuses. Get it done. NOW.

 Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at www.loribakerschena.com