And who/what can I blame it on?
I wasn’t always like this. I didn’t always put things off until the last minute. I wasn’t always lazy or tired or careless.
But something has happened as I’ve gotten older. I’ve become a procrastinator.
In high school, I was a hard worker. Diligent. Focused. And I had the grades to prove it. I was smart, but not effortlessly so. I spent hours every evening studying for my AP exams, memorizing vocab and facts, solving math problems and writing essays. I was unapologetically an overachiever.
And it paid off. I had top grades in all my classes. I was able to get into a pretty prestigious college. But after graduation, I slowly began to lose my diligence. My focus.
And now? Almost 10 years later, I still don’t know how to get it back.
I could come up with a list of reasons for how I became a procrastinator. I could blame my desire for a social life in college, and the drinking and partying that came with it. I could blame the jobs I’ve taken since college, which don’t seem to challenge me and where there never seems to be quite enough work to keep me busy. I could blame my smart phone, which I didn’t have in high school, and is a constant distraction. I could blame my lack of sleep or my poor diet. I could blame the people in my life who demand my attention.
But the truth is I only have myself to blame.
Every night in bed I promise myself that tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow I will wake up energized and motivated. I will tackle everything on my to-do list and get my life on track.
But that tomorrow never happens. Instead I make excuses. “I’m tired.” “I don’t feel like it.” “I’ll do it later.” And I find other things to do. Other ways to waste my time.
I wish I could tell you how to find the self-discipline to beat procrastination. I wish had the cure, the answers, the solution. But I don’t.
I’m still struggling. I’m struggling to even finish this article. I want to stop. To save it in my drafts. Finish it later. But I know that later never comes. If I don’t write this article now, finish it, publish it, then it will be stuck in draft purgatory, where I have several others waiting for my non-existent motivation to kick in.
I wish I could go back and talk to my 16-year-old self. The one who had drive and who enjoyed hard work. I would ask her how she did it. What made her so determined? And how can I become her again?
I’m not sure what she would say. She probably wouldn’t know anymore than I do. Because I think motivation and drive are a sort of magic. Something inside you that you can’t just wish to existence. It’s who you are. Something that clicks in your brain. A state of being that you didn’t fabricate or fake.
Do you know where to find this magic? And if so, can you share some with me?