“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
Steven Pressfield: The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle
David D. Burns, M.D. says in The Feeling Good Handbook that we must recognize the many positives to procrastination: it is easy; we can do more enjoyable and relaxing things; we can, for a while, forget our problems and avoid hard work; we can frustrate the people who are nagging us; and we can prevent people from pressuring us to do more work by proving our unreliability. Stop pampering yourself and take responsibility for becoming the person you want to be and for doing the things you want to do. And do it now.
Procrastination is the root of much evil. Had the Western powers confronted Hitler much earlier, rather than appeasing him and hoping for peace, great evil might have been prevented. Likewise, procrastination can be a cause of much frustration in one’s career, personal finances, and personal happiness. The most important principle for overcoming procrastination is to not wait until you feel inspired, but to go to work right now.
One reason for procrastination is becoming paralyzed with all of the possible negative outcomes of taking action. As Rafe stated in my book Never Fear, Never Quit: A Story of Courage and Perseverance, “fear is many tomorrows, but courage is one today.” Don’t worry about all the possible futures over which you have no control; concentrate on the one today that is within your power to influence.