Have you ever stopped to wonder ‘why’ we procrastinate? It happens to the best of us, and sometimes, it seems as if there is nothing we can do but procrastinate. We’ve written entire posts detailing how to stop procrastinating and get more work done, but that isn’t enough. To truly stamp out procrastination, you need to know why you procrastinate in the first place. Thus, the topic of this week’s Monday Motivational: why we procrastinate. Let’s take a further look at the ‘why,’ and hopefully, you will be able to make the change you need to stop procrastination of rearing its ugly head into your work life.
Maybe you procrastinate because you don’t know when to act
Ever heard the saying, “maybe tomorrow but not today?” It’s the procrastinator’s mantra. When we procrastinate, most of the time we are waiting for the right time to act. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” is essentially what we tell ourselves whenever we don’t feel like acting today, and are hopeful that by procrastinating into tomorrow, the next day will be better suited for what we are trying to do.
Yet, the right time never comes, so we procrastinate further. “This week doesn’t sound good, I’ll postpone this until next week,” becomes, “this quarter isn’t so swell, let’s wait until later in the year,” which becomes never. One of the best words of wisdom you will ever hear is this: the hardest part is starting. Once you stop procrastinating on a task and actually start doing it, the hardest part is over, and it’s all uphill from there.
As for the best time to act? It’s now. Start acting today, and discover how simple it is to finish the task at-hand.
I’m a guy that doesn’t like change. I get comfortable in a certain flow of things and tend to get fussy whenever that changes. Maybe you’re the same way, but one thing is for certain: running away from change is one of the worst things you can do.
While I hate change, I know I have to embrace it. This makes me feel uncomfortable and uneasy because I hate getting out of my comfort zone, but I force myself to do it all the time. Getting caught in your comfort zone and being afraid of change (i.e. the unknown) won’t do you any favors, so make it a habit of getting out of your comfort zone often. Complacency causes you to become scared of any type of change – and when we are scared, that’s when we procrastinate.
Change up your workflow as much as possible week-to-week. If you find yourself getting caught in a regular schedule, tweak it by doing other tasks that could benefit your indie studio going forward (such as experimenting with different gameplay types for your next indie game). Try marketing your brand using interesting, new marketing methods you haven’t tried before. Do things differently, and embrace the unknown!
Why we procrastinate
The reason is pretty simple: because we are afraid. We delay tasks we have to do because we are waiting for the right time to act (i.e. we are fearful that now isn’t the best time to act) and we are afraid of the unknown (i.e. we believe that the unknown equals failure). Or maybe we just don’t feel like working – but again, most of the time that stems from fear. I think it’s pretty safe to say that fear is one of the sole reasons why procrastination creeps up in our lives, and that’s okay: as long as we know how to handle that fear and control the temptation to procrastinate, we can use it as a motivator rather than a handicap.
Do you have any questions or comments regarding procrastination? Let us know in the comments below!