Procrastination: The Killer of Dreams

Pad of Paper & Pen

Earlier today, I shifted through a pile of newsletters, magazines, clippings, notes and miscellaneous mail that had been sitting around for weeks, and sadly to say, in some cases, months. (Hey, it wasn’t years at least.) This was my get-to-it-when-I’m-in-the-mood pile. Interesting stuff, full of information that spurs my imagination, bits of ideas and pieces of creativity. A pile. Gathered ideas and important information, as I see it because, well, I don’t want to miss anything. Let’s be honest: it’s hoarding. You know, I never got in the mood to read the stuff and so now, it feels like a steaming pile of waste haunting me until I DO SOMETHING. The choice of use it or throw it away was before me. With some pain and a small amount of anxiety, the something was to opt for the throw plan. (No worries. Any of my ideas, I kept.)

I can blame my lovely mom for her ever-so slight problem of information hoarding. I love you, Mom, but dang it. You gave me the love of collecting information and the desire to do something with it…someday. (Ideation is what I think it’s called.) We hoard because we don’t want to miss out, I guess. I know I hoard information because I want to use it for creative and useful purpose in the future.

But why not now?

The title of this post sounds a bit extreme, huh? It isn’t really. If you’re a procrastinator, like me, you’ll agree if you really look honestly at your life. I’ve killed dreams because I put them off. I’ve killed dreams because the good ideas I had (sometimes sitting in piles of magazines) are now a burden to me. I now spend time “cleaning out” my life, my office, my brain of the source of ideas that were once brilliant and now lie tarnished with the rest of the detritus cluttering my life. Ugh.

What’s the solution? Who knows? “Just do it”? Probably, but I’m not sure why that doesn’t work for me, at least consistently. I’m sure if you did a search, you’d find countless articles out there telling you how to avoid procrastination, all with better ideas to defeat it than I can give. Why get advice from a procrastinator? So I won’t attempt it. Here’s what I’ll give you: a few, raw insights that are enough to scare you away from procrastinating. Not sure it will work, but it’s worth a try…

Procrastination robs of you the time you thought you were saving—it just steals more later.

Procrastination steals you of hope because it highlights a lack of discipline and possible failure.

Procrastination ultimately causes discouragement…and may slip into depression, if you’re not careful.

Procrastination doesn’t work. You’re rarely “in the mood” later, so do it now even if it hurts.

Procrastination for some things is okay. You shouldn’t do them in the first place. The trick is knowing which to let go of.

The worst part: Procrastination from creative activities, steals you of dreams.

And don’t let procrastination rob others of that creative part of you. You owe it to everyone to share the results of your dreams.

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4 thoughts on “Procrastination: The Killer of Dreams

  1. Rebecca says:

    Good post, Dave! Strangely enough, just yesterday I dealt with (one of) my own “steaming piles” of paper (which happened to be right by the toilet, so make of that what you will!). Throwing out magazines that I was going to read “some day” was difficult, but ultimately freeing. We rarely have time to deal with everything in our present, much less clean up after the past.

    • Well said, Bec. You said what I wanted to say (not because I was procrastinating!) regarding our present, but was unable to articulate. I think that’s why procrastinating is so deceiving; it steals the present from us as well. Funny comment about your own steaming pile. 🙂

  2. Thanks for writing/posting this David! I suffer from creative-idea-hoarding/procrastination and needed to hear this. This line resonated with me pretty deeply: “I now spend time “cleaning out” my life, my office, my brain of the source of ideas that were once brilliant and now lie tarnished with the rest of the detritus cluttering my life.” Now, to go clean some piles. 🙂

    • Thanks, Christine! ( I’M writing this with my new tablet!… with handw riting recognition! Not perfect but pretty cool ) Trying to simplfy my life but always easy. We do our best right?

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