A Procrastinator’s Guide From A to Z
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
As a child, I learned The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Alongside this Rule was the Commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But, I’m afraid I’ve failed miserably on both counts. It’s not that I haven’t been kind with people. It’s not that I haven’t been charitable towards others. I general, I’d describe myself as a “good person.” But I’ve missed the mark when it comes to treating myself with kindness.
I am a procrastinator. I’ve been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. From elementary school all the way through my college years, I’d wait until the last possible minute to do my homework. As a kid, I’d wait until the last minute to clean my room, and later—as an adult—my home. I’d wait to do laundry. I’d wait to leave for work. I’d put off any and everything I could possibly put off. Both good and bad.
I’ve heard it said that we choose our options because, on some level, they serve us. If that is true, I’m getting something out of my chronic procrastination, or I wouldn’t continue to do it. Is it the adrenaline rush of working against a deadline? Maybe. Am I procrastinating out of avoidance? Sure. Do I procrastinate because when I don’t meet my deadlines, it makes me miserable? Absolutely! Every time I fail, I fulfill my own self-depreciating prophesy. I am not enough.
Procrastinators have no problems showing kindness toward others, but they rarely aim even a fraction of that same kindness towards themselves. They are judgmental and cruel when they think of their own failings.
I am not good enough.
I am not capable enough.
I am not enough.
If you ask a procrastinator, “What can I do to make my life easier? What can I do to meet my goals?” the procrastinator will surely have some good advice. They know what you should do. They have a difficult time implementing these same changes in their own life. But why is this? I think kindness is part of the problem. Procrastinators are so busy beating themselves up over what they should be doing, they have no time to treat themselves the way they would treat others. With kindness! They are so busy wallowing in fear and self-doubt, they have a difficult time showing loving behavior towards themselves.
If the procrastinator wants to see real change in their lives, it doesn’t start with a calendar or a clock. It doesn’t start with platitudes. It isn’t merely about acquiring better time management skills. It isn’t about making more lists. Real change starts within. It starts by making conscious choices. It’s about being the pilot of our own lives. If we procrastinators want our lives to change, we must be willing to see ourselves as we truly are, to love ourselves, and to make kind choices that will help us to grow. We must be realistic with ourselves. We must look at the big picture. Change isn’t something that happens once, then done. It takes place over the course of a lifetime.