Is Procrastination Holding You Back? Try Making a Decision ONCE

You do not need to waste a single ounce of mental energy debating about whether or not to do it. You just do it.

You don’t need a plan for next year. You need a commitment.

— Seth Godin

I am taking a page from one of my favorite bloggers & podcasters, Seth Godin, and keeping this blog short and succinct.

My message—a tip I gleaned from one of Seth Godin’s podcasts (though for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you which one, nor could I find the exact quote on-line)—is this: if you make a decision to say, do a certain task tomorrow (or not do something), you only need to make that decision ONCE.

Then when tomorrow comes and perhaps you find yourself waffling with excuses such as: “I don’t feel like doing that now” or “I don’t think this is the best time” or “I am going to put that off again until tomorrow” or “the toilet needs cleaning” etc, all you have to do is laugh at yourself (nice try, self!), hunker down and get ‘er done.

Why? Because you ALREADY MADE THE DECISION. You made a promise to yourself. You made a commitment. You do not need to waste a single ounce of mental energy debating about whether or not to do it. You just do it.

Now, of course, you can back out of it…again (there are no decision-enforcement officers who will come a-knocking). IF that’s how you want to live your life.

But I don’t. I played the procrastination game for way too long. No more. The cost is WAY too high.

I have been implementing Seth’s suggestion for 3 months now…it really works. Sure, I still fall off the wagon from time to time and put a priority task off until the next day. But that’s okay. This life business is not an exact science. As this pandemic has reminded us, things change…we can only do our best each and every day.

While I was searching on-line for the quote by Seth Godin about the importance of making a decision once, I came across some of his other insightful quotes that have to do with decision-making and honouring the promises we make to ourselves about moving forward with the tasks & projects, dreams & goals that truly matter to us:

“Make a decision. It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.”

“You don’t need more time. You just need to decide.”

“Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.”

I have also learned from experience (over and over again), it is okay to be kicking and screaming while doing the task we promised ourselves we would. Nobody said it would always be pretty or fun or enjoyable. But the feeling…the sense of achievement that comes from honoring our commitments to ourselves is one of the best feelings in the world.

And maybe, just maybe, the first step is the hardest.

Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.

  • Seth Godin

Previously Published on Pink Gazelle