I have procrastinated. I have wasted time. I have, I do and probably will, and so will you.
Here’s an annoying little slice of truth that you don’t want: In all things, the only way to do it is to do it. Sounds dumb, right? It is. But it is also the truth.
You can not get anything done by thinking about getting stuff done.
There’s a need for a little bit of planning, yes. You don’t want to be the idiot who pokes around with no understanding and does not know what the hell they do. After a little deliberation however, there must be action (/unless you found that this particular thing is the wrong thing for you to do at all/).
The reasons why I personally don’t take action when it is due, is because it puts me face to face with things that I would love to avoid:
Inadequacy, or not being “up to” a task.
When you decide to move on to action, you can always second-guess yourself and your decisions. Other people often seem to be more competent at this particular thing. They seem to learn effortlessly.
It feels much safer to practice some more. Maybe I need to read up on this, just a bit more? Oh yeah, all I have really done is read more on this and that… I have gathered strength, waited on a better day, the right moment when I feel “ready” for this.
Funny that that moment never comes. So, eventually when you do it, what ever “it” is, you’ll feel not ready for it. At least if it is something challenging and meaningful.
If there are any stakes in that game, you will have to take a plunge. Eventually you will have to say to yourself “ready or not, here I come”.
Fear of failure
Hell, I don’t want to show my stupidity to others! I don’t even want to own up to it inside my own mind! It would be nicer to avoid the whole thing together, to get out of this predicament. Thats’ avoidance coping.
If you don’t do the thing, you will not fail at the thing.
Or will you?
Of course, thinking things outside the stressful situation and with a clear mind, it is easy to see that not doing what you want or need to do, is actually the ultimate failure. At the moment when you are preparing yourself for the plunge, it still might seem like a legit way to avoid the pain that accepting the challenge will bring.
Run back to safety, don’t do it, give up, pivot to other things, rationalise your lack of courage.
If you do this, it may become a habit, it may become your go-to response to discomfort.
The price of that is unbearably high.
Fear Of Missing Out.
Is this even the thing that I really, really want to do? Do I want something else instead? Who in the world would know what I really want, and tell it to me?
When you commit to an action, you choose to do something and choose not to do all the other things at that time. We’d love to keep our options open, wouldn’t we?
If you just noodle around, do low-intensity, low-quality bullshit, you can cheat yourself momentarily to think that the cake can be eaten and kept too. But that is not true. You can’t. When you are repeatedly task-switching or doing this with low energy, you end up doing not much anything at all. The results, if there are any, will be displeasing to you. You will feel like all that time was wasted, and you are not exactly wrong.
Remember that you can do only one (cognitively challenging) thing at the time. You can not do it all at once. Remember also that in order to get something done, you have to choose. If you refuse to choose, then the option of “nothing” will choose you, and you will sink little by little into the nothingness, in to the boredom, and finally into anxiety and depression.
Do not “multitask”. Choose something, then act on it.