Dealing with Procrastination
Originally published on 1-15-11
The idea of, “I’ll deal with the consequences later” (Essentially, procrastination) has manifested itself in different ways in my life.
Outsider’s view: I am healthy and work out 5 days a week.
Real view: As a freshman in college I started taking ephedrine (an ingredient in diet pills that has since been banned, because of its damaging heart effects), and continued taking it for many years in the face of doctor’s recommendations to stop.
Thoughts at the time: Well, I look good and I am getting a lot of attention. So what if my heart is beating at a very fast pace all day long? I won’t be on these pills forever! Plus, I’ll gain weight if I stop.
Outcome: After they were banned by the FDA, and I had exhausted all other possible dealers (the internet, gyms that had a back stock, etc.), I was forced to stop taking the diet pills. Just as I had feared, I gained 10 pounds, and consequently stopped taking photos for the entire year of 2008. It took me a year to lose the weight and get my metabolism back on a healthy track.
Outsider’s view: I have a well paying job.
Real view: I have a well paying job but don’t know how most people raise entire families on my salary, since I spend so much money on myself!
Thoughts at the time: Well, I can’t afford the $200 pair of jeans, but I’ll get them anyway and cut back somewhere else (and never actually do cut back). Or… it’s a special occasion, I would love to give my mom this great gift, she’d love the $200 earrings much more than the $100 pair. Or, I’ll pick up the tab, for five of us, no problem!
Outcome: Credit card debt. MasterCard loves me. Yup, at any given time I have a few thousand dollars in credit card debt. It’s ridiculous, really. And since I come from the “do as I do AND as I say school”, I am working to get a grip on my spending habits.
Outsider’s view: I am very social and like to be out and about.
My view: I like being social and like to be out and about in bars, and restaurants, and community events, but sometimes I’m tired or sick and don’t really have the energy to.
Thoughts at the time: Once I get there, it’ll be fun and I’ll get my second wind. Or, well… it’s the holiday season, I have to go out, have fun and celebrate! Who cares that I just worked 12 hours and need to rest up? I can sleep later. Coffee will do the trick!
Outcome: After a long stretch of social outings, like the holiday season for example, I end up hitting a wall, my immune system collapses and I end up getting sick with a cold or worse, Tonsillitis and needing to be medicated and hibernate for a week.
Instead of barreling through life and getting the sweet, addictive taste of immediate satisfaction (which I am clearly addicted to), stop for a moment to think about the decision you are about to make. Are you dealing with situation and consequences head on, or are you putting them off until later? Deal with it now, don’t wait!! I have found that the more time passes, the bigger and more daunting the “it” gets. You owe it to yourself to make prudent decisions.
Deal with it now. Don't procrastinate. Deal with your addictions, your weight, your finances, your relationships. When you “deal with it now”, you’ll feel stronger and more confident because you’re taking care of yourself and consciously molding the life you want, one decision at a time.