Trying to break the habit of procrastination is so hard! It’s much easier to do things that don’t matter, at all. For example, it’s much easier to watch every single video of a YouTuber that you don’t care about than it is to finish your work. With all information at our fingertips on the Internet, the temptation of finding out what happens next in our favorite show on Netflix, and the desire to just avoid hard things, procrastination is pretty much a guarantee without some motivation. Following are some procrastination quotes to help motivate you to build a plan that allows you to do what you need to do quicker.
1. You Are Affecting Other People
You may think that your procrastination is okay because you always end up getting the most important stuff done, eventually. But, if you have kids, friends, family, or a partner, then you are leading by example. You are telling other people what is imperative to you and what is not, and if they are impressionable, you are teaching them how to behave. That means that if you are procrastinating all the time, you are teaching them how to procrastinate, especially when you justify why you are procrastinating.
For example, if you are procrastinating on living a healthier lifestyle, then you may say things like ‘You only live once!’ or ‘Being unhealthy is so much more fun,’ and those excuses are teaching the impressionable people around you to put off a healthy lifestyle, which will result in negative consequences that you don’t want for them.
Moreover, you may be affecting other people negatively when you procrastinate. If you are procrastinating on things that could benefit them as well as you, then you are affecting them negatively in some way. Do you really want to do that? I know I don’t! It’s a huge motivator for me to get busy taking action on what needs to be done.
2. Create Concrete Deadlines
In a TED talk by Tim Urban, he talks about the panic monster and how it motivates you to get busy on something when a deadline is coming. For instance, if you have a paper due in 1 month, and you don’t do anything for 30 out of the 31 days, then the panic monster is going to show up on day 30 because your paper is due tomorrow. That panic monster scares away the monkey inside of you that just wants to have fun, and it brings your action-orientated self to the forefront. For most people, this works really well. The panic monster is a huge motivator that helps get things done. But, if you don’t have crucial deadlines, the panic monster won’t affect you at all!
For example, if you are a business owner and need to get things going on your own, you don’t usually have concrete deadlines put forth by other people. You create your own deadlines, and if you miss them, then you just create new ones. No harm was done. Or, if you are working towards a health goal, you create deadlines and, again, if you miss them, no harm is done – besides some regret or anger. All you have to do is create new deadlines. The obvious problem is that every time you change your deadlines, you suffer quietly and live with more regret and unhappiness.
If you can’t stick to your deadlines, you need to create deadlines where other people are holding you accountable so that you can unleash the panic monster when you get close to them. You need to join groups, get help, and set concrete deadlines that you can’t allow yourself to miss. This may not cause you to stop procrastinating altogether, but it will help you work hard when you know that your deadline is approaching fast!
3. What Do You Need To Set Deadlines On?
When we procrastinate, we say we will do something tomorrow. But, for many people, there is no a tomorrow. Death, injury, or a complete change in life can happen without notice, and you may not get a chance to do what you want to do or need to do ever again. That’s why there are some things that you must create deadlines for today. These include things that you want to do so badly that you can’t see yourself dying before you do them. These include the things that you would regret if you were suddenly incapable of not being able to do something about it tomorrow. You already know what those things are, so get busy taking action on them.
4. Just Don’t Add Too Much To Your Plate
If you put too much on your plate, you will procrastinate. You are not a machine that is built to move from one task to the other and then shut down at night. You may have a lot that you want to do, but keeping your goals and to-do list short will, at least, help you get SOME things done, whereas too many goals and too big of a to-do list can result in getting nothing done at all.
Not being totally strict with yourself is necessary too. You need some wiggle room to answer a phone call, give yourself a break, or even take a full day off from what you think you need to do. In fact, when you take some time to recharge because you are too overwhelmed, that’s when procrastination can be a good thing. It helps alleviate stress and keep you happy.
5. Get Things Done Quickly And You’ll Enjoy Your Free Time More
This is probably one of the only procrastination quotes you need to remember to help you get motivated to take action. If you procrastinate, you are making easy things really hard, and you are making hard things even harder. And, if you just get things done when they need to be done, then you will feel much less stress and enjoy you free time much more.
For example, if you have a paper due in a month, and you get it done this week, then you can enjoy the next three weeks with no pressure. But, if you procrastinate on that paper for three weeks, then you will be doing so with the lingering thought that you need to get that paper done in the back of your mind. This can hinder how much fun you actually have during those three weeks because the task is always making you feel guilty for not doing it or anxious for how fast it is coming.
6. A Question To Help You Overcome Procrastination
The bottom line is that you have some things you want done that can only be done by you. If someone else does it, you won’t notice a difference, but if you do it, and you do it well, it will impact your life in a big way. This applies to your work, health, relationships, and happiness, and only you know what those things are.
Accepting that you are responsible for those things can be a great motivator to stop procrastinating and start taking action. If you won’t, nobody else can, which means all the power to change your life and have the life you want is solely in your hands.
7. Procrastinating is Fun Until You Pay The Price
In his TED talk on procrastination, Tim Urban shows a calendar that is really just a bunch of small empty boxes. Each box represents one week in a 90-year life, and if you take a look at the calendar, you will realize just how few boxes we have in life. Moreover, we’ve already used a lot of those boxes up. Thinking of that calendar is an excellent way to figure out what you want to do in life and get motivated to take action on making happen.
Imagine each box being colored in and alive after a week’s worth of getting things done. And, imagine each box being dull and empty after a week’s worth of procrastination. How do you want your calendar to look?
8. How Bad Is Your Procrastination Habit?
This is one of my favorite procrastination quotes to date. Not only have I seen a lot of people do pointless things, but I’ve also done a lot of unnecessary things that just don’t matter. Sometimes it takes seeing others do ridiculous things to remind me of how much I am procrastinating and what I should probably focus on more.
Take a look at your life. Are you doing a lot of really pointless stuff? Are you adding another review to a long list of reviews on a can opener? Is that really necessary to do? If not, then get busy doing something that makes a difference in your life and lights up those boxes we were talking about in the previous point.
9. It’s Not A Sin To Procrastinate, But…
Perhaps one of the reasons we get caught up in procrastinating is because we don’t see it as evil. We make excuses for it that justify it as being helpful for us in some way. But, it isn’t. The weight of not getting things done is always sitting there in the back of our mind and even in our body. We can feel it lingering somewhere and staring at us. And, that can cause us to beat ourselves up and feel poor about ourselves.
For instance, if you know you need to get the house clean, but you are watching TV instead, you will look around and think about the house every once in a while. If you don’t get up to do it, then you will start to tell yourself that you are lazy, which isn’t a very nice thing to say to yourself! Then you may start beating yourself up about how you are too lazy to do what needs to be done, which can lead to negative self-talk about your health, mindset, and abilities. If you just do what you need to do, that weight will never be sitting there talking negatively to you.
10. Face Your Fears
Sometimes we have nothing to do, usually after we finish the important things in our day. During that time we are in a high state of energy – we feel good and alive, and we are free to come up with new ideas and work on ourselves and our hobbies, which is healthy for us and a way to be even more productive in our lives.
But, when we are doing nothing because we are procrastinating, it is about fear. We fear we are going to miss out on something, and that keeps us in a lower state of energy where creativity doesn’t live. We fear we are going to fail or get unwanted results, and that also keeps us in a lower state of energy. Face your fears and you won’t have to live in that lower state of energy.
11. Make Procrastination Your Number One Fear
If all the other procrastination quotes don’t help you or motivate you, then hopefully this will. Imagine that you are scared of not getting done what you need to get done, and then let that fear motivate you to take action.
If you are more frightened of not getting things done than you are doing what you need to do, it will feel much easier to stop procrastinating. Our fears motivate us one way or the other, so use them wisely!