Today, not Tomorrow

Who doesn’t procrastinate? I’m pretty sure everyone does at some level. But that’s the concern: the level of procrastination. How often do you tell yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow”? How often does the tomorrow come where you actually do it? For me, that wasn’t often. I had multiple big goals for the future but I did little to accomplishment them. This lead to a constant cycle of disappointment, a constant feeling of sorrow. Overall, my self-esteem was just terrible. This cycle continued for a while. There were times where I would try to change and improve, but I never committed and it made me feel like even more of a failure.

The feeling of disappointment soon became too significant to evade. I vented about it with a close friend and she told me if I really wanted to change I had to commit, otherwise, I had to be satisfied with what I had achieved. This really struck me because I realized that I wanted to improve, that I wasn’t satisfied. It made me try to evaluate my methods for improving and try to identify the problems. I realized I was trying to do too much at a time and got easily disappointed from not filling a certain quota.

After that, I started trying to do some things I had been wanting to do, slowly, but then I became aware of a problem that had been hindering my progress: procrastination. I would constantly tell myself: tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow. Although there had been some times I actually did it the next day, they were usually when I was pressed for deadlines. This practice didn’t lead to progress because it wasn’t a spiriting motivator. I couldn’t rely on outside pressure; I eventually understood I had to press and push myself.

The realization that really started to get me to take action and make progress was the question I asked myself: why not today? Every time I was about to go through the string of thoughts that leads to procrastination, I stopped myself and told myself, why not today? And when I started applying that mentality, things got done. I became more and better dedicated to things. I finally started improving and slowly started feeling better about myself.

There were other mindsets that also helped guide me into an active mentality. A friend had advised me to take small steps, and my dad had expressed that no matter how much we all do, there will always be things that we won’t be able to get to. Those pieces of advice helped me feel not as bad for not achieving a certain quota every day and helped me ease out of the cycle of constant disappointment. There were also some practices that helped me ease into things, like setting certain time periods to start things, like the beginning of the week or month or even New Years. Also, pacing things out throughout the week and having outlines for months proved to be a beneficial strategy.

If you really want things to improve and the lack of progress is making you feel down, consider this mentality: instead of telling yourself tomorrow, ask yourself: why not today?

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