Procrastination is easy. I procrastinate. I know it and I struggle with it every day. The silly thing is, when I actually knuckle down and get on with what I know I should be doing, I often wonder why I spent so long messing around not doing it because it took less time that I imagined and was much more fun!
Procrastination carries consequences. Whether your behaviour is conscious or unconscious, you will eventually have to confront the effects of procrastination. And whilst everyone (well probably everyone) finds it natural to procrastinate from time to time, it’s the way in which we deal with the effects of procrastination which will determine what effects procrastination has on your life.
One of these effects is the failure to reap the rewards that would come from taking action. In other words, when you procrastinate you simply fail to take action on the very things you know will bring you closer to your goal. You may know what you want, and even how to get it but by not taking action you are sabotaging your own efforts even before you start and it’s usually at this point where procrastination sets in.
So why do it?
Well, because the results you desire are often something bigger and better than what you currently have and to get them you have to step outside your comfort zone, and that is not easy. Your conscious mind may be uncomfortable outside your comfort zone, so unconscious mind reacts by “protecting” you. Procrastination is the immediate effect.
But the effects are far reaching.
It’s not just your actions, but also your inactions that have a massive effect on the rewards you reap from life. The effects of procrastination are not just a direct but also an indirect loss of rewards. More than anything else, action opens you up to opportunity.
Opportunity rarely occurs just because you hung around waiting for it! Opportunity arises when you line yourself up with what you want most and your conscious actions expose you to opportunity. But are you noticing the opportunities? Are you using the opportunities or are you procrastinating?
It’s true that if you habitually procrastinate you will stop noticing all the opportunities on your doorstep. You will live your life in distraction, constantly looking for short term “fixes” and avoiding the real challenges that will allow you to reap the real results. You will always “turn a blind eye” to the real opportunities.
I once read somewhere that those who succeed are rarely the people who are presented with the most or the best opportunities. There are simply the people who notice the opportunities they have and act on them.
Out of all the negative effects of procrastination, the failure to spot and act on opportunity is probably the saddest. So many people with so much talent fail to live up to their true potential because of procrastination. What you achieve in life is a direct result of what you do or don’t do. Procrastination will prevent you from reaching your potential and your inaction will ensure that you miss opportunity after opportunity.
Victor Kiam once said, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin”. He was right. Do not let procrastination stand between you and what you want to become.