There are some fantastic quotes about procrastination, mainly because everyone has fallen under its spell at some stage. Here are some of my favourites:

‘I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly leave until the day after.’ Oscar Wilde.

‘If it weren’t for the last minute, absolutely nothing would get done.’ Rita Mae Brown.

‘Reincarnation is just another way to procrastinate.’ Chuck Palahniuk.

There are two main reasons why we all do it. Some people fear failure- why start something if it might not amount to anything, right? Others are scared of success – could I cope with the changes and new expectations this will place on my life?

Be honest; you know when you’re procrastinating. When this happens, I suggest you look inside yourself and re-examine what it is that you really want. Then get started! If confusion or feelings of being overwhelmed are paralysing you, go back to the support theme I talked about in Smart Way # 08. Clarity will come with support and brainstorming.

A quick look at how the brain operates will also give you some insight into why you put things off.

One half is the rational decision-making side that sets practical goals. The other side of your brain is the playful side which is necessary for creativity and other fun stuff. When we’re procrastinating by watching one more You Tube clip, staring into the fridge to see if something new has materialised since the last time we checked, the playful side is sabotaging the other. Don’t let it.

You can see people at the mercy of this playful side everywhere – they tend to be the ‘urgent procrastinators’. They live life feeling super-stressed, anxious, and wishing they could learn to better control of their brains.

Worse still, is the ‘non-urgent’ style of procrastination. It is actually quite sad to see people whose dreams never become a reality. Rather than setting targets and risk failing to meet them, they just never take the steps in the first place.

Avoid both of these pitfalls by taking planning and prioritising seriously. When someone or something tries to distract you, let your diary, calendar or planner call the shots in your life.

Understand more in Making It On my Own; 52 Ways to Smash It in the Real World. Buy the e-book or paper copy here.