Delaying the Battle Against Procrastination

iStock_000012465994XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Like a lot of people, I tend to procrastinate:

  • It took me five years to complete a two-year graduate program.
  • When I first started working, the stock market was at 800. (Yes, I know…that was a long time ago.) I finally got in at around 8,000 — right before the crash earlier this decade. (Hmmm…maybe I rushed things there.)
  • I’ve put off buying a new life insurance policy for over a year now because I know I’ll get a better rate as soon as I lose a little weight — which should happen pretty fast once I start exercising.
  • And I’m on track to die with more unwritten novels than any other writer in history.

It’s easy to say, “I’ve got too much to do,” but there’s usually more to it than that. For some, it’s fear of failure. For others, fear of success. Sometimes it’s a control thing. Sometimes, we procrastinate because we’ve never really made up our minds on the big issues…things like “What I want to do with my life.”

Oprah Winfrey once interviewed the late Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled and other books. She noted that he was a prolific writer, traveled all over the country giving lectures, maintained a psychotherapy practice, and still managed to spend time with his family.

“How do you find the time to do all of this?” Oprah asked.

“I spend two hours a day thinking about what is important in my life and what is not,” said Peck. “I tell people I am praying so they will not interrupt. I do not spend any time on activities that are not important to my life. And, I don’t watch your show.”

I like that answer so much, I think I’ll give it a try. But it will have to wait til tomorrow. I’ve got too much to do today.

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, an independent book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics, including an anthology titled “Advice You’d Like to Pass on to Others.”

2 thoughts on “Delaying the Battle Against Procrastination”

  1. This is a subject near and dear to my heart…for many years I was a horrible procrastinator. Unlike Peck however (who I adore as a writer), I found that for me the solution was NOT to think! My mind will talk me out of actually acting on anything every single time! For most people I would guess the solution is one or the other, depending on your personality.

    For the most part now I have have become an anti-procrastinator…almost compulsive about not putting things off…

    I’m not entirely sure that it is better…but at least I do wind up getting things done!
    Thanks MIke for another great post!

  2. Thanks, Catherine. I should have mentioned that lately I’ve had another problem. It’s overload paralysis. I have so much to do, I sometimes feel paralyzed. But then I just try to pick the most important thing and do it and get going again.

Comments are closed.