Finish Something Every Single Day.

by Mark on April 14, 2010

I don’t think that there is a person alive who doesn’t procrastinate on something. I have been trying to figure out what causes procrastination. One thing that I have learned is that procrastination has nothing to do with laziness. I have always been a hard worker. I have routinely worked overtime at pretty much every job I’ve had. Growing up, I was extraordinarily diligent about studying and training for sports. And yet, despite this strong work ethic, I have always procrastinated on certain things. Like term papers and school projects. Going to the doctor or the dentist. Fixing things around the house. Taking out the recycling. The list is endless.

Why do we procrastinate? I don’t think that there is just one cause, but I think one major factor is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of humiliation. Fear of rejection. Fear that taking action will take a lot of effort or a lot of time. Fear of discomfort or pain. There are all sorts of fears that could contribute to procrastination. Another issue is that we sometimes don’t recognize the true cost of procrastination, such as the cost of procrastinating on investing. Sometimes it is because we don’t think it is a priority, and sometimes this is what we tell ourselves when we don’t want to face up to our fears.

Whatever the causes, procrastination certainly causes a lot of stress. If I had a dollar for every time I said to myself, “I really need to do such and such,” I would be a very wealthy man. There are millions of reminders around my home of things I have been meaning to take care of. Individually, all these little issues probably wouldn’t have much of an impact, but add them all together and the impact is much more significant.

That is why I have decided to try to finish something every single day. It doesn’t have to be something huge. In fact, my mission is to begin to work on finishing the little things that bug me, one little thing at a time. I figure that it will give me greater peace of mind and an increased sense of control.

This should be an interesting little experiment, not to mention somewhat challenging. I’m going to focus on things that I have been meaning to do for a very long time. It will force me to confront things that I have been avoiding. If I have been consistently avoiding something, then I figure that there must be something about it that makes me uncomfortable. It’s time to begin acting with decisiveness and courage. It’s time to just do it.

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