Stephen here, and I’m writing this today with a terrific sense of relief. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I want to tell you why.
I hope you can spare yourself the suffering I endured and overcome your procrastination before it inflicts the toll on you that it did on me. Even though I’ve come out the other side a much more confident and, frankly, better man, the journey to get here was so tough, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I was a procrastinator since as far back as I can remember. In grade school, I was the kid with a mouth full of gum, the one who got caught running through the halls when I should have been in math class.
I was always getting into trouble, and it drove my parents nuts but I didn’t really care. It was just who I was, and I figured that no matter what they did or said, I wasn’t going to change.
As an adult, I’ve found that old habits die hard. In my personal life, I constantly put off doing things until the very last minute. And professionally, well… let’s just say that my boss has a lot of extra gray hair on her head because of me. But if you asked me whether or not that bothered me? The answer is a resounding “Nope!”
Besides, if I screwed up, I was the only one who would be hurt. Well, that all changed when I started a family.
When I was single and living alone, I could squeak out a project at the last minute, go days without doing laundry, or get around to paying bills whenever money was available in my checking account.
If you’re a procrastinator, as I once was, you know exactly what it feels like when you get that rush of adrenaline from doing something at the last minute, when you’re so caught up in the drama of your life that there’s no choice but to push everything off until later.
I used to thrive on that rush. Sometimes I even felt proud of myself when I squeaked out something at the last minute and made it happen. Hey, I did it!
But then my life changed. My wife and I had our first child, and all of a sudden, my procrastination wasn’t just affecting me anymore. It wasn’t just my health or my bank account that suffered; it was my family’s.
Not only did I have less time to get things done because of all the little ones running around, but they were also depending on me now.
And after a while, doing nothing started feeling like a betrayal, one that was hurting those closest to me.
First of all, I was having a hard time at work. I was constantly late, unproductive, and every evening I came back home stressed out, without an ounce of happiness in my system.
So I decided I hated my job which eventually brought me to the collapse of my financial life.
I was struggling to pay bills on time, which drove my wife up the wall and caused no end of headaches as we tried to figure out our finances.
She had to work overtime to provide for our family. This meant our kids spent less time with their mother while I was unable to properly take care of them because of my lack of energy and depression.
All the while, I knew that if I could only get ahead of things instead of constantly playing from behind, everything would be so much easier, and my family would be better off.
But I simply couldn’t.
And as my procrastination continued to cause my family hardship, I spiraled down into deeper and deeper depression and anxiety. Not only did I feel like a failure for causing all this, but my day-to-day mood also grew darker and darker.
I was not a pleasant person to be around.
Of course, my kids picked up on this, and they would go out of their way to interact with my wife rather than me, even tho she didn’t have much free time. That, in turn, made me feel like a pathetic excuse for a parent and a human being.
As I watched my kids grow up without participating in their lives, cheering on their successes, and helping them up when they stumbled, my marriage was on the brink of collapse. My wife simply couldn’t do it all – especially when she had to spend her time and energy propping me up as well.
So, she finally gave me an ultimatum. Fix this, or else.
She knew that was the only way to get through to me.
She helped me find a therapist to try and find the cause of my procrastination and all the mental anguish that went along with it.
But that proved to be easier said than done.
While my therapist was able to help me document how my procrastination related to my depression, changing my behavior was a different story.
The first thing she tried, of course, was a regimen of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Six months of that, I felt even more disconnected from the world around me and ambivalent about life. Worse, procrastination continued to be the way I dealt with just about everything. I wanted off the drugs, but my wife and therapist were reluctant to do that without something to replace them.
Then, one morning, my wife called me over and showed me a website. It asked probing questions regarding the nature of my procrastination and how it made me feel, and she convinced me to answer them honestly.
Based on my answers, the system, guided by psychologists and wellness professionals, created a customized three-month plan that it claimed would allow me to overcome my procrastination.
My wife and I were both skeptical – after all, nothing else had worked to that point.
But for that very reason, and the fact that they were offering a significant discount which made the program considerably cheaper than therapy, we decided to give it a go.
I’m not going to sit here and say that things changed overnight. They didn’t. Although, in the grand scheme of things, the month it took for me to start seeing results was a drop in the bucket compared to the months of stagnation and years of banging my head against the wall before that.
But the results did come, and my entire outlook on life changed.
What this program did, essentially, was rewire my daily routine so that procrastination wasn’t even something I thought of. It simply made no sense to wait to do something when I could do it right then.
That complete sea change of perspective was what broke me free of procrastination, and as I began to take a proactive approach to my life, my self-esteem began to grow as well. I no longer felt like a failure; I no longer felt like someone no one wanted to be around.
And that has made all the difference in my life as a father and professional.
Finally, I feel like I’m not constantly playing catch-up, and I hope never to feel that way again.
And to think, it all started with a simple quiz!
Click below to take the Virtue Map initial quiz, and your custom-designed plan will be ready in a matter of minutes.
After that, it’s only a matter of choosing to give it a whirl.
After all, if you’re in a situation like mine, there’s so much to gain and so little to lose by trying.
Best of luck on your journey!
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