No, this is not a post about Oprah. This is about procrastination.
I am a seasoned procrastinator who has had all kinds of streaks. I once wrote an article for a whole year. I have been reading Rich Dad Poor Dad for about 3 years now and sometimes, I procrastinate even after the deadline has passed. I have seen some pretty dark times.
I would like to say I have been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember, but that would not be true. I wasn’t always like this. There was a time I read and did my work when I was supposed to. I was the pride and joy of my Physics teacher.
I believe my struggles began in the university, when I was advised to enjoy my first year to the fullest, since I had 5 years of pain and suffering awaiting me.
Hence, 8am lectures were a no from me, as watching marathon episodes of 2 Broke Girls was a more worthwhile endeavor. My motto was ‘Due today? Do today’. Those were good times and I absolutely have no regrets.
But things are not the same anymore, as my responsibilities have increased and I cannot get away with it so easily. I have to constantly engage in a vicious battle with the forces of procrastination, so I do not have to deal with the multiple repercussions. Sometimes I win but some days, it’s a crushing, crushing defeat.
Take last Monday for example. I had written down a list of topics I had to study for the day. But what did I do instead? I had the sudden urge to spend hours going through a giant flow chart of Netflix movies my village people brought to my attention.
I also love spending time on Pinterest going through listicles like: 14 Books to Read if You Loved Americanah, 13 Movies Every Woman Should See Once in Her Lifetime, 10 Places to Go Before You’re 30 and 40 Best Movies to Watch with Your Daughter. I do not have a daughter.
Another favorite sport of mine is to go through various recipes for hours, from Homemade Red Velvet Cookies to Peppered Shrimp Alfredo to Sesame Pasta Chicken Salad. I could also watch videos like how to make pina coladas or strawberry margaritas, for no absolute reason. The internet is such a terrible place.
A while ago, I had a conversation with myself about the terrible effects of this affliction. In my search for help, I found a TED Talk by Tim Urban titled: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, which I didn’t watch immediately because…
When I finally watched the video, I was faced with the truth: that though I may enjoy the high of rushing all my work in a deadline-induced panic, my chronic procrastination would eventually keep me from realizing my full potential. Entries never sent, applications never completed, opportunities blown, goals unachieved. I was shortchanging myself.
Here’s the link to the video. It has convinced me to make small changes that have rippled into big changes.
Do I still procrastinate? Absolutely.
But these days I have more wins than defeats, and I am on my way to finishing Rich Dad Poor Dad. Look at God.