Most people I know, including myself of course, have a problem with procrastination. This is something that can affect and damage a great many aspects of our lives, from completing university essays and assignments to paying bills on time and discussing important relationship matters with our partners. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by the complexity of our lives that we just simply don’t know where to begin. We feel completely paralyzed and end up doing nothing at all, or something that is harmful and detrimental to our well being, something that moves us further away from who we would like to be.
Each of us have some idea of the person we would like to be in the future, and the type of life we would like to lead. Whether our dreams involve creating more leisure time for ourselves, acquiring a more challenging career, finding a soul mate, raising a family, or all of the above, this sort of long-range planning and treasure-mapping is a very important and positive function of our conscious minds.
Where many of us fall down, though, is in our inability to translate this planning into action. We can tend to become so good at seeing the big picture that we forget about the details, all the little steps that must be taken in order to achieve these dreams. Without taking care of the small details, we often find that we have become stuck in a rut. Sometimes a great stretch of our lives can go by without us having really come any closer to the place where we want to be. It’s at these times that we can become discouraged and overcome with a feeling of helplessness, even hopelessness.
This feeling makes it even harder to come to grips with the changes we have to make so we can move forward. Like little children who believe that by covering their eyes they can disappear from sight, we sometimes believe that our dreams will be realized without any effort or sacrifice, and that by avoiding our day to day problems they will simply vanish.
The reality is, however, that phone bills will not pay themselves. If you want to be an artist, you must first pick up a paint brush, and if you want to get your PhD you first have to complete that midterm assignment in the 200 level course. The challenge I am giving myself this year is to become more of a doer, and less of a thinker. My promise to myself is to concentrate more on the step-by-step process of getting from point-A to point-B, and less time thinking of reasons why tomorrow would be a better day to do whatever it is that I have been putting off. The truth is that I will not have any more free time a week or a year from now than I do at this moment, so I may as well begin. I do not intend to rush, but rather to move gradually and steadily forward, one step at a time, to where I’m going.