When Jill Scott sang, “Jumped out of bed, took a shower, dressed, cleaned up my place…” she was doing way too much for some of us because we were definitely going back to sleep. How many of us push snooze when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, knowing good and well we got things to do? For many of us, those things we’ve got to do will just have to wait because that last minute of sleep is too good and much more important.
Ironically, in an era of “grind” this and “hustle” that, we often do not approach life with a sense of urgency. We slack off. We put important things on hold and drag our feet, missing out on opportunity after opportunity to better ourselves. We can listen to the podcasts and watch the TikTok videos all day long, but until we take action, we will not be these “bossed up” women and men that we like to say we are. If you’re anything like me—and you want to actually make success a reality for yourself—we’ve got to eliminate procrastination.
Real talk? I can honestly say, with my chest, that procrastination has had me in a chokehold since 1991.
For example, one time in high school I had to write a research paper. Mind you, I knew about this research paper two months in advance, but I waited until the last second to start and barely finished. I went to the library two days before it was due to turn in a 20-page paper. I put myself under an extreme amount of stress while using the excuse of “I work better under pressure” to escape any accountability for my irresponsible choices. My literature teacher, Mrs. Hartman, called me out, big time. She was confused about why all my works cited came from the same two sources. And could you blame her? In that moment, my “better under pressure” talk felt like the best possible comeback, but I wasn’t fooling anyone but myself.
Luckily for me, I received a B- on my paper (nothing but God), but Mrs. Hartman sat me down and told me that I could’ve had an A, but I lacked the sources to back up my thesis. Not gonna lie, y’all, that did something to my spirit. To know I kept myself from getting an A, from coming in first place, from being one of the best—all because I decided to wait until the last minute. My grades mattered a lot to me, but from my procrastinating energy, nobody would be able to tell.
Fast forward to another example: I can’t tell you how many times—day in and day out—I sit and watch my phone battery slowly die. It might get all the way down to 2 percent before I plug it into the wall to charge. Sometimes it will completely die on me, and then I have the nerve to be all shocked and mad. Like, Girl, you saw your phone at 40 percent…and 20…and 10… and did nothing about it? Where’s my sense of urgency? Now if I miss an important phone call, that’s my fault because I waited until the last minute to charge my phone.
How many papers and assignments were B’s when they could’ve been A’s? How many cell phones could have had more battery life and caused me less stress if I’d chosen to be proactive instead of procrastinating?
Procrastination is the enemy of success. It stunts our growth and puts a lock on our dreams. When we procrastinate, we are saying to ourselves that we do not value our time, that we do not take pride—not only in who we are but in all that we can become. Being prepared and proactive can literally be the game-changer and the way we win in life, but we’re too busy putting things off or phoning them in.
I think about it like this: If we ain’t about to let a man half-step with us, then why should we half-step with ourselves? Don’t let procrastination be the reason you end up missing out. And I gotta say it: I love us, but CP time is just an excuse and will limit our ability to fly and thrive. If we want to make success a reality, it is time for us to lose this procrastination energy and win.
Was there ever a time when procrastination got in the way of your goals?