There is a freedom in doing. Of attacking a task with all you’ve got. Even if it’s grocery shopping. It feels good to do. To finish something you started. To do it the right way. To finally stop putting it off and start. It’s powerful and it builds momentum. So why don’t we?
I’m not sure why we (I) procrastinate because I feel better when I just do any particular task. It’s like a weight is literally lifted off my back. Yet I still put it off. I mean I put off things I want to do. How does that make any sense?
I pulled out my googler and asked Larry Page and Sergei Bryn why we procrastinate and the reasons range from loving the thrill of finishing just in time to rebellion over authoritarian parenting. I read two articles (because science) and I was intrigued by the fact that some things resonated completely and others not at all. In the creamy middle was one that I liked a lot. “as a culture we don't take it seriously as a problem. It represents a profound problem of self-regulation. And there may be more of it in the U.S. than in other countries because we are so nice; we don't call people on their excuses ("my grandmother died last week") even when we don't believe them.”
We don’t call people on their excuses.
Perhaps this is why I have such a hate/hate relationship with procrastinating. I hate excuse making in any form, and clearly my actions can be construed as just that. An excuse.
Yesterday as I was working on my list of “definitions”, I made a “finish” list. It was a todo list for sure but it was specific to loose ends on so many things I have started and haven’t finished. Some were “two minute tasks” that I haven’t done for a month (idiotic) and went up to home renovation stuff. Make this list for yourself. Call it a finish list or better yet a DO IT list.
It’s a specific list of actions that will yield almost immediate results. If you think of a task and your first thought is, “Fuck man. Get this done.” It goes on this list.
Doing breeds doing and like I took the time to say and use as a tag line of sorts “DOERS>SAYERS”. This is the “anti-excuse”.
I know I repeat myself but that’s because we need constant reminding.
Make a “DO IT” list. And start.