The fastest way to do something you don't want to do is to start doing something you really don't want to do.
I'm giving you this advice because by the end of this article, you'll want to refer back to it. You won't want to be a procrastinator any longer. For the purposes of this article, I'll assume you're a bit of a procrastinator. I am. I think we all are to a certain extent. But if you're a serial procrastinator – that MUST stop. Keep reading to see why procrastinating equates to wasting about 50% of life.
Taken from Wikipedia, Parkinson's Law means, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. This is probably why retired people say their lives are still as hectic as when they were working 40 hours a week. Even though they probably have a more time in their day, menial tasks begin taking a long time to complete.
Not paying attention to Parkinson's Law is a form of procrastination. Why? Let me get into the meat of this post:
When you procrastinate, you're pushing off doing something. This isn't good. It's important to complete a task as soon as it presents itself. Completing renewed opportunities is likely to take up about 50% of your day (this varies greatly, of course). The other 50% should be left open to new opportunities that inevitably arise. If you take the first 4 hours of your day and spend them giving into Parkinson's Law or outright neglecting your duties, the other 4 hours MUST be spent on those duties which should have been done in the first 4 hours. Yes, this means that half your day is LOST to procrastination.
I know a very powerful CEO. I asked him how he plans his day. He said he never fills his calendar to the brim. He always leaves plenty of time for new opportunities that will surely arise as the day progresses. He said, “If new opportunities don't arise, I simply use that time for inward contemplation. I ask myself where the business is going. I ask myself if I am happy. However, these moments of reflection are rare as new opportunities typically arise by the afternoon.”
For myself, I like to get stuff done ASAP because I can then spend the rest of the day building my business as a freelance writer, digital marker, etc. (see my byline). The morning is often recurring work, the afternoon is often spent
seeking creating new opportunities. If I would procrastinate, I would have NO new opportunities. Thus, 50% of my life each and every day would be wasted. That thought makes me want to cry. I used to procrastinate a fair amount but I've left that life behind.
But please, don't start a task if you don't plan to give it your all. You'd be better off procrastinating. Because of Parkinson's Law, you would just be spending twice the amount of time to complete a task. That's just like working for the sake of being busy – terrible use of your days on earth, don't you agree?
So how do procrastinators get over the habit?
As I mentioned earlier, “The fastest way to do something you don't want to do is to start doing something you really don't want to do.” This way, what you were procrastinating about doesn't seem so bad. You'll quickly go back to the first task.
This post isn't really supposed to be a guide for solving procrastination problems – it's more about recognizing there is probably a problem with procrastinating. And really, procrastinating mayyy work for you. Each person is different. But for most people, procrastinating means half their lives are spent agonizing over the idea of doing something which, in reality, wouldn't take that long if they just went ahead and did it. I've agonized before about stuff in reality I could accomplish rather quickly.
This post is meant to be positive – I promise 🙂
Phroogal is about maximizing your happiness in relation to money. Happiness occurs in humans when we are creating. It makes us feel fulfilled. I really think hustling is a fantastic way to happiness. Think about it – have you ever been depressed when you were busy? No! Ain't nobody got time for that! Earlier this year, I read a book written by Dale Carnegie. I read a lot of books nowadays. It's called, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. He interviewed many people about how to become happy and successful. Some of the happiest people in the world said: “I never have time to be sad!”
And, when you're busy, money just flows towards you. If you work long days doing something other people value, you'll have few money issues – as long as you're Phroogal, of course.
See, not procrastinating has a major impact on your life. You essentially become happy and wealthy just by following what I'm writing about in this post. Sometimes it's the simple money lessons that matter most.
Do you plan on gaining 50% of your life back by not procrastinating? Maybe it's not 50% you're currently losing. But I'd like you to time how many hours you spend procrastinating each day. Tally it up. Then account the amount of hours you work each day. The numbers will likely surprise you.