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Dealing with Procrastination

While I was growing up, my elder brother; Agboola Olusola Butler will give a simple illustration of a wall clock with a broken face. He will keep on turning the “second” hand of the clock backward until it makes a click sound indicating an hour. He will then call me by my name; Agboola Omotola Butler and say to me, “When you keep on turning the hand of the clock backward over and over again you will end up saying ‘good morning!’ at night”.

A clock                                                                 Img src :

I have learnt a lot over the years, especially when I started depending on myself, then I used to live with my parents at Ondo State, Nigeria. A very important lesson was that in which I could deduce from the lesson my brother thought me. It took me a while to understand because I never really thought it was important not until I was living all by myself. His message was this: “What you can do, do it NOW!

Laziness is born from leaving out what we can do now for a moment later. As you all know, making a decision is inevitable in our day to day living. In fact, without making a decision is equivalent to making a decision. You should decide NOT to let procrastination steal your comfort. It is a very provoking “life force” that can cause one to run even when nothing is chasing him or her. This article is meant to proffer a way of dealing with procrastination by delivering 7 phrases that must be eschewed in our mind.

   The 7 Phrases You Should Evade From Your Mind

1. I will…

This is normally referred to as an exhibition of both willingness and capability to perform. Most at times, when this is formed in the mind or said out loud, it implies moving what can be done now to a particular point in time in the future.

We tend to say, “I will get it done soon!” and in a couple of days, we are still battling with the task given. This phrase indicates self-confidence and in the long run, “the wings are broken”.

Instead of creating this phrase in the mind, one should ask questions like, “What is hindering me from doing this task until now?”

2. Will I….?

This phrase is expressing that the subsequent action has a slim chance of coming to fruition. And as such, making the probability of the action to be less successful (i.e. less than or equal to 0.5). It is the state of being unsure of something or its existence as a whole. The pose occupied by this phrase indicates a lack of confidence in oneself.

For instance, we tend to ask questions like, “Will I be able to make it?” And this keeps us at a spot for a while. This phrase, in no doubt, keeps a “man” stagnant for a very long time. It is so strong that it may weaken the foot from getting to a next step ahead. The time that we had to contemplate can be channeled to actually “trying”.

3. I haven’t…

This phrase is similar to the “I will…” phrase. Like the “I will…” phrase, it can be positive and negative depending on its usage and at the point in time.

For instance:

* I haven’t done my homework, I will right away.

* I haven’t done my homework, so, I have to go to school late.

These two sentences show the usage of “I haven’t…” The first stood as a reminder while the later as an excuse.

The excuse is born to weaken our “free spirit”. It should be disallowed from dominating our mind. The more we make “them”; the more we make “them”. It is a never-ending process of life. Instead of making excuses, we should endeavor to work it out and as such avoid it.

4. Must I…?

This phrase, on the other hand, is finding a way to skip out the certain activities that might be eventually needed for the next line of action. “Man” is born to make priorities in whatsoever he or she does. The fact that “A” is more important than “B” does not imply that “B” is not important at all. And that’s where we get it all wrong.

For instance, we ask ourselves, “Must I study hard in order to make A’s in my courses?” The answer is “NO”. There are, of course, other ways of making A’s in your courses, but ‘studying hard’ is the due process. It gives you comfort and assurance of success—even if you fall, you will fall on B’s instead.

Most at times, we want to skip one action so as to save time, energy and resources (especially money), and as such, the result may not be as expected. The best result is obtained when we reflect on the due process in the execution of a task.

5. It isn’t… (Or he/she hasn’t… or they haven’t…)

This phrase is centered on complaints. In the world today, many people blame the society and everything for our failures. This phrase takes refuge under the grace of a lapse in the execution of a particular task where you are a part of. That is, failing to take charge of your premises so as to satisfy your objective based on the failure of other premises.

This act will eventually lead to a total abandonment of the action. We make fuse of a thing that isn’t and use other people’s failure—individuals, government, the entire society, friend and family failures—to perpetrate a lazy deed.

For instance, we tend to say, “He hasn’t played his part, so there is nothing I can do.” This is one wrong idea we tend to construct in our thoughts. Instead of complaining of the things someone hasn’t done, we should embolden him or her to do them.

6. What if…?

This phrase shows that you inhabit fear in your mind. It unveils to you the chances of failure at the end of a path you intend taking. In other words, you will only be able to see the failures and not the success ahead of a proposed task. And as such, it will make you see the importance of giving up even before beginning the task.

“What if I fail?”, “What if it doesn’t work out?” These are very popular questions we tend to ask ourselves. The more we keep on thinking about the negative part of the outcomes for a task, the more we remain stagnant in executing the task. So what if you fail? Countless successful people have and have risen again.

Henry Ford, an American business magnate, the forefather of Ford Motors said,

“There is no disgrace in honest failure. There is a disgrace in fearing to fail”. And I believed him. Fear keeps you in a place. If the snail has the leg of a tortoise, it will be faster than the tortoise. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new today. You will be amazed at how remarkable success can be after tons of failures.

7. I can’t… (It indicates “I quit”)

This is what I regard to as the suicidal phrase. This phrase ends/kills the entire probability of performing a particular task. It shows that the person had quit the pursuit as “measured” to chase after his or her own pleasure.

A living dog is better than a dead lion. The moment a man proclaim that “he can’t”, he ceases from being active—like the dead lion in the jungle. This statement kills the body. At times, he becomes tired of even taking his bath.

Who said it can’t be done? You never know unless you try. The Wright brothers invented the airplane. They cracked one of the most difficult and apparently impossible phenomena that had been on the table of curiosity for several years. If they had buried their mind into thinking of the impossibility, their names wouldn’t have been recorded as the inventors of the aeroplane.

There is no time to admire your wristwatch. In a bid to source for the result, not only planning is critical, the action is needed. Though most tasks can be impossible to attain, it would be unwise to stop at envisaging. The time that we had to contemplate can be channelled to actually “trying”.

What makes them special is the success they obtained in trying to rise again. What other nose-dived individuals do then was to make fuse of a thing that isn’t and use other people’s failure as an excuse; hiding in their little holes to avoid failure or make the less important seem so important.

The messages we can deduce from this article include; trying NOT to avoid failure, rebuking the spirit of complaint and getting rid of unnecessary complains and fake prioritizing. So many successful people have failed time without number.

My friend, procrastination is not only a thief of the time; it ensnares the mind as well. Therefore, shun this bad habit and say to yourself, “What I can do, I do NOW!

Post Author: Agboola Omotola

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