You have to be punctual. Do things pronto. Make it happen NOW. Don’t dilly dally. Don’t wait. Do it. And do it immediately. C’mon! Chop! Chop! Let’s make this prompt!
But contrary to popular belief in this fast-paced society in which we live in, procrastination is NOT a bad thing at all. It’s really not. In fact, if anything,[ it’s actually one of the key ingredients towards effective time management.]
I mean think about it this way: you have to procrastinate *something* -- no matter what. Even if you decide to do the productive thing. Let’s say you choose to do your homework. Well, you’re procrastinating doing the dishes and taking your dog out for a walk. You’re even procrastinating hanging out with your friends.
The very act of choosing to do something means you are procrastinating another. You *must* procrastinate. You must put off one thing in order to do something else. It’s not a matter of if you do or do not procrastinate. It’s a matter of *what* you procrastinate on.
Now of course, it’s possible to procrastinate the *wrong* thing, but even that is subjective at best. What one finds to be important may be seen as a waste of time to another.
Of course, I suppose if we want to look at this from an objective point of view, the wrong thing to procrastinate on would be something that allows you to “better”yourself. You should always be leveling up and evolving as a person.
You may have a goal in mind like losing weight or starting a business -- that’s the objectively “wrong” type of thing to procrastinate on because it gets you to level up and better yourself -- yet you refuse to even get started on it. You keep putting it off and putting it off, using one excuse after the other -- anything just to avoid doing the thing you said you’d do.
But believe it or not, at that point you’re not procrastinating. At that point you’re *hesitating*. And there’s a difference, as we’ll get to. Whether it’s because of a fear of failure, feelings of insecurity or self-doubt, you’re not putting the thing off because you *want* to, you’re putting it off because you feel emotionally compelled to do so.
Whether you put off making a move and striking up a conversation with someone you find attractive because you’re afraid of getting rejected or put off getting in shape because you’re afraid of feeling embarrassed as the fat guy at the gym or put off starting your own business because you’re afraid it might fail and you’ll end up bankrupt, you’re quite literally “frozen in fear”.
You’re so overwhelmed with negative emotions that you don’t budge. You are *hesitating* moving forward.
Now that’s what people criticize when they say “don’t procrastinate”. They’re saying “don’t put off things that would help you better yourself.” But what you’re doing in this type of situation is not procrastinating. No. Procrastination is a calm choice to do something later, not a frantic avoidance of something perpetually.
Fact of the matter is, oftentimes procrastination is confused with hesitation.
See, there’s a difference between putting something off purposefully and putting something off emotionally. Both are waiting to do something until later, but only one of them has a positive outlook.
Anyway, today on the blog we’re gonna take a look at hesitation versus procrastination. And without further ado, let’s dive...right into it!
Hesitation stems from Self Doubt
The main difference between hesitation and procrastination is based on the level of confidence you have when choosing to put something off.
If you don’t get started on something simply because you doubt yourself and your own ability to do something, then that, my friend, is hesitation. You’re delaying something not because you’re prioritizing something else more important, not because you want to do it later, but because you feel you lack the capability to do so.
Procrastination, on the other hand, is believing you do in fact have what it takes to make it happen, you’re just not going to do it right now.
Are you putting off that diet because you think you’re a fat piece of shit or because you just don’t want to do it quite yet? Are you holding off asking that girl out because you think she’s way out of your league or because you’re enjoying single life right now? Are you neglecting your homework assignment because you doubt your academic ability or because you’d genuinely rather watch TV right now?
When you hesitate, you stop and think to yourself, something along the lines of “Oh wait I can’t because (blank)”. Conversely, when you procrastinate you think to yourself along the lines of “I won’t because (blank).”
See the difference? Can’t and won’t. Feeding yourself the idea that you “can’t” do something, that you are unable to, is self doubt through and through. Saying you “won’t” do it though is more stoic.t shows you have control and authority over your own life. Leading us to the next point...
Hesitation is Uncontrollable Inner Turmoil
When you hesitate, you get yourself so wrapped up in negative feelings that it “freezes” you in place. You couldn’t move even if you wanted to. You’re trapped in the binding of self doubt, pity, and loathing.
You’re a deer in the headlights. You don’t know what the fuck to do, but just stand there and don’t move. You’re not thinking rationally
Truth is, you don’t have control over your own inner thoughts and feelings. You let them control you.
Now when I say “control” your thoughts and feelings, I don’t mean become this unfeeling uncaring bastard. Nor do I mean to imply that my suggestion to you is to “just stop thinking about it.”
Besides, you can never consciously “stop thinking” about something. If I tell you “Stop thinking about walruses”. Well guess what? You just thought about a walrus. Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon, maybe just the word “walrus”. And even if you thought to yourself “I’m not going to think about a walrus”, well bucko, right there! You just mentioned/thought of the word walrus.
Point is, thoughts and feelings come, and to “control” them doesn’t mean to put a stop to them (as that would be literally impossible), it simply means not to attach yourself to them.
Thoughts are sort of like browsing through the radio, flipping through different channels. While you can’t necessarily choose what’s playing, you can choose to “tune in” to one (attach yourself to it) or keep browsing.
By controlling your thoughts and emotions, you deliberately decide not to “tune into” the negative ones, the ones that cause you to hesitate and doubt your ability to move forward.
Tune into the positive thoughts, and just like a radio, they may seem a bit staticy or fuzzy at first, but the further you drive, the closer you will get to getting a clear signal. It may take a while until that “good song” is clear sounding. Don’t expect yourself to just start thinking more positively in a heartbeat.
But in the end, you can release your inner turmoil by tuning into those positive thoughts and stop hesitating the things you want to do.
Procrastination means you’ll do it eventually
Whereas hesitation has you saying “I’m not sure if I could* ever* do that*, procrastination has you saying “I can do that. Just not right now.” You say “I’ll get around to it. Eventually” as a procrastinator.
Hesitation has [the permanence of “always” and “never”], but procrastination gives you flexibility and room to grow “one day”.
When you hesitate, you’re likely to believe that you’re not ready to do the thing you want to do. The only difference in the mindset of procrastination is that you believe that you're not ready *yet*.
Yet is the key difference. Yet opens the doors of opportunity. Yet incites possibility. Yet is a positive outlook towards the future.
There’s quite a big difference between “I can’t do it” and “I can’t do it YET.” In one, you’re creating a perpetual state of being, and in the other, you’re creating a state of evolution.
Eventually and Evolve are so closely related, not only do the words themselves phonetically begin the same, but both definitions insinuate change over time.
When you hesitate on a goal, no matter how big or small, you don’t see the potential change within yourself. You’re saying to yourself “I will always be a loser. I will always be fat. I will always be poor” or what have you. You’re not being open to evolving or making a change.
You’re hesitating because you don’t believe that your current set of circumstances or current abilities and knowledge can ever be any different. You stop yourself from entering the race because right now you’re not much of a runner. You refuse to start streaming because right now you know nothing about it. You hold back trying to ask a stranger for their number because right now you are a bit socially awkward.
You’re basically *limiting yourself* to what you currently have available and fail to see how you can upgrade, evolve, or change at all in the future.
Procrastinating, on the other hand, gives you the reassurance that “tomorrow” (or at least some day in the future) that things can and will change. It may not be done now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t be... later.
Don’t Hesitate to Procrastinate.
You heard that right. Don’t be afraid to put things off. [Remember, it’s okay to say “No”.] It’s a power word. It gives you freedom to make choices. It gives you control over your life.
You don’t have to prioritize helping others or doing what others expect of you. You may feel tired, it’s been a rough week, but you have a friend that needs help moving this weekend. You may hesitate to tell him “No, I really don’t have the energy to do that” and instead tell him “Okay, I’d love to help,” then wind up schlepping furniture for hours on your weekend.
It’s okay to tell him “Hey, I don’t really want to spend my weekend carrying heavy shit up and down staircases.”
You see, you may have become just so hesitant to the point where you can’t procrastinate. Woah! Mind blown. I know.
You see what you’re doing though? You’re putting off things that make YOU better and are prioritizing things that make OTHERS better.
Look, you have to be willing to prioritize yourself
Think of an investment When you invest money into something, you value it more. Likewise, when you invest emotional and mental energy into something, you value it more. That is to say, if you invest emotional and mental resources into *other people* more than you do for your own damn self, then you’re going to in fact value those people more than yourself.
Invest in yourself. Prioritize yourself. Now when I say that, I don’t mean don’t care about others or ignore them or refuse to invest in any sort of relationship with others. No.
What I am saying though is that in order to take care of others, you have to first and foremost take care of yourself.
Give what you can, not just what others want to take from you. Put off your charitable works and tendency to people please in order to focus on doing things that make you happy.
Be a procrastinator and know that not everything that people ask of you must be done right now. You have someone more important to be concerned about (hint: that’s you).
Don’t feel guilty or otherwise hesitate about taking care of your own wants and needs first before reaching out to help anyone else.
Find happiness within yourself, not the approval of others.
You can wait on a lot of things, but your own wellbeing and happiness shouldn't be one of them.
Tkae it Easy,