by Kristen Eckstein
We’ve all suffered from the disease of procrastination at one time or another in our lives.
Procrastination can be rooted in fear, busyness, fatigue and illness, and pretty much anything else that causes you to be too tired or preoccupied and want to put off a task.
But at what cost do we procrastinate? What benefits does procrastination reap? Now I’m not saying there aren’t valid reasons to put off your book project, like a family tragedy or a sudden new business opportunity. I myself believe in perfect timing for everything.
However, I also know that when I procrastinate on something, there’s usually a hidden underlying reason why I’m procrastinating, and it’s also costing me. As Wayne Gretzky said so well, “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”
What Procrastination Cost Me
Here’s what my procrastination has cost me for my dreams and my business:
Time—This one is obvious. Of course the more I put off a goal, the more time it takes to get it done. No brainer. I also waste a lot of time thinking about the projects I’m procrastinating on—and beating myself up for not taking the action I think I should be. Nod your head if you can relate.
Money—This one relates mostly to my business. For some reason I have a problem following up with people who want to do business with me. If I take too long to follow up, I lose the sale. The same thing has happened with my books and other products—the longer it takes me to complete them, the more money I’m losing on sales.
Sanity—Sometimes I’d rather spend all day watching a Netflix movie marathon than writing. And that’s OK—sometimes (hey, we all do need to take breaks once in a while). However, if I take breaks like this too much, the pressure of my project looming above me can cause me to question my sanity as I start getting stressed out about getting it done.
Writing this article was one of those projects. I actually turned it in a month late, and while I had a lot of reasons (and excuses) for not finishing it on time, there were also moments that I procrastinated. And this procrastination cost me some sanity as I stressed over getting it done.
Now ask yourself, what is your procrastination costing you? More time to devote to other things instead of using that time to beat yourself up for procrastinating? More money in book sales? The feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish a goal or cross something off your bucket list?
What Proscrastination Is Costing You
What is your procrastination costing you? It’s probably costing you some of the same things it costs me, including:
Time—How much time do you waste thinking about the project you keep putting off? How many ideas do you come up with for that project in the shower or while driving, then beat yourself up for forgetting as soon as you step out of the shower or car, then spend the next hour or two obsessing over the great idea for your book that you forgot?
How much time do you take doing mundane tasks you could outsource to a virtual assistant? How much time do you waste researching articles on the Internet, only to get caught up in your Facebook or Google+ newsfeed for the next three hours?
How much time do you waste standing under hot water in the shower instead of actually washing yourself off? OK so that last one may apply more to teenagers than adults, and the fact remains, we all waste a lot of time every day.
Money—How many more clients could you get if you had a book to show off when you speak at a conference? How many more leads could you get with your business if you had a Kindle series available through the power of Amazon? How much money are you leaving on the table by not having the credibility of a book to back you up?
Your Message—Who needs to hear what you have to say? Who needs the solution to a problem that you hold the key to? How many people are struggling or suffering because you’re hanging onto your message waiting to get it “perfect” before releasing it to them?
If you had the cure to a new disease killing millions of people every day on your hard drive, would you wait to share it with the dying world around you? I don’t want to guilt you too much, and please see the power your message could have on impacting the people and world around you.
Knowing what it’s costing you can help motivate you to take action and get your book done. Brainstorm other ideas as to what your procrastination on your book—or any other project—is costing you. Then start asking yourself some specific reasons why you may be procrastinating on your book project. Think about it—really think. Dive deep into yourself and analyze why you do what you do with procrastination.
Unless you can pinpoint the main reason you’re procrastinating in the first place, you’ll still find yourself falling into that pattern of procrastination in the future. That’s what we’ll discuss in Part 2 of this article: 5 Reasons You Procrastinate on Getting Your Book Done: The Reasons and Solutions.
In the meantime, let me know what procrastination is costing you in the comments below.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.