By Mahmud Isa Yola
Procrastination, the ultimate enemy of productivity, is a habit that plagues many writers. For years, I too was guilty of putting off my writing until the last minute, but through hard work, discipline, and a new perspective, I have been able to overcome this debilitating habit.
Let’s face it, procrastination is like a bad date, it always shows up uninvited and ruins everything. But, like any bad date, we have the power to break up with it. It’s time to say goodbye to the constant cycle of starting and stopping, the guilt of not meeting deadlines and the disappointment of not reaching our full potential.
Procrastination is a complex issue that can stem from various sources such as fear of failure, lack of motivation, or an inability to focus. In my case, it was a combination of all three. I was constantly worried about not being good enough and the fear of failure paralyzed me into inaction. But, with time, I learned that procrastination is not just a personal problem, but a societal one as well.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 20 per cent of adults are chronic procrastinators. And, while it may seem like a harmless habit, procrastination can have severe consequences on both our personal and professional lives. It can lead to increased stress, decreased job satisfaction, and even depression.
So, how did I overcome this habit? Well, the first step was recognizing that procrastination was a problem and taking responsibility for it. I began by setting small, achievable goals for myself and breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. I also implemented a daily routine that included dedicated writing time and held myself accountable by tracking my progress.
Furthermore, I learned to focus on the present moment and stay away from distractions that could cause me to lose focus. Distractions are like mosquitoes, they are small and insignificant, but they can drive you crazy. I also started to visualize my goals and imagine myself achieving them, which helped to keep me motivated.
Another important aspect of overcoming procrastination is to change your perspective on time. Instead of seeing it as a constraint, view it as a resource that can be managed and utilized efficiently. This helped me to prioritize my tasks, set realistic deadlines and to not waste time on unimportant activities.
Procrastination is especially detrimental for writers as it can prevent us from producing our best work and achieving our full potential. It can make you miss deadlines, lose credibility and affect your income. And let’s be honest, who wants that?
In conclusion, overcoming procrastination is a journey that requires hardwork, discipline and a change in perspective. It’s not just about setting goals, but also about changing our habits and learning to manage our time and focus effectively. So, let’s break up with procrastination and start living the productive lives we deserve.
• Yola is of the Media & Advocacy Department of NDLEA