Procrastination is one of the post powerful productivity tools we have. It’s how we set aside everything we shouldn’t be doing right now and focus our attention on the one thing that should have it.

Oftentimes, though, we use procrastination to put off doing that one thing. We know we should be doing it, but we just don’t want to face it. But we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we’re procrastinating, so we come up with some creative ways to justify, rationalize, or camouflage our lack of action.

Have you ever:

  • wanted to make sure it was perfect? On every project, there is a point of diminishing returns. Past that point, your time is better spent doing something else. One of two things is happening: either you’re afraid of sending this thing off into the world or you’re afraid of starting on the next thing. Enough with the endless fiddling and tweaking. It’s good enough. Done is better than perfect.
  • wanted to know all the answers up front? It usually isn’t possible to know everything you need to finish a large project or reach a goal before you begin. If it is, it isn’t necessary. You only need to know enough to take the next step. You won’t know the questions to ask until you’ve gotten started.
  • not wanted to miss out on anything? Working on what’s important means we have to miss out on things that are merely urgent. We are finite. We can do anything we want, but if we good back out of fear, we’re going to miss out on everything we want to do.
  • gone looking for just the right tool? Tools are important. They let us work more efficiently and, quite frankly, accomplish things we could never achieve with just our bare hands and wit. And so we constantly wish for newer and better tools so we can solve bigger and harder problems. But the truth is, we’re not doing everything we can with the tools we currently have. Waiting for the 2019 sonic screwdrivers to come out before we get started just means we’re not doing what we’re perfectly capable of doing right now.
  • waited for the calendar to roll over? New Year’s Resolutions have a great marketing team behind them. We think that change happens at one magical time of the year: January 1. There’s nothing magical about waiting until we hand that new calendar in the kitchen or set up our planner for the new year. If anything, January 1 is the worst day to start change because we’ve just exhausted our willpower resisting the excesses of the holidays. You can make a fresh start and decide to change today.

Each one of these is a noble intention!

They’re just excuses. When it comes down to it, you don’t want to do what you know you should be doing. Maybe you’ve depleted your willpower. Maybe you’re afraid of failing. Maybe your heart just isn’t in it.

Whatever the cause, you can get through it. You’re ready for this. You’ll learn the right questions to ask as you go. You can’t do everything, but you can do this. You have everything you need. Today is the day.

Question: How have you justified, rationalized, and excused not taking action on something you should? Share your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.