“Running out of time” is often a lie wrapped up in an excuse.
Procrastination. What do you put off doing? It is usually the stuff you dislike doing. For me, it’s administrative work. When I worked in the Fortune 50 world, there was always some mundane report that required me to gather information and reformat it for someone else’s benefit. Time spent in spreadsheets, tracking down account numbers, or balancing accounts was the last thing I wanted to do. So, they became the last thing I did.
The problem was, my procrastination meant that I was doing those things at the last second. And, sometimes I did not get them done in time. Therefore, my procrastination created issues for others. This is where the moral obligations of exercising our Duty overlaps with Selflessness.
Duty: Taking action based on our assigned tasks and our moral obligations.
Selflessness: Putting the needs of others before our own needs, desires, or convenience.
Just because I don’t like administrative work or it is due at inconvenient times for me, I still have a moral obligation to complete it - on time and to the best of my abilities. If I am late or do a shoddy job because I put it off until the last minute, that makes someone else’s job more difficult. The opposite of Selflessness is selfishness. And the opposite of Duty is unreliability.
When I procrastinate, my selfishness makes me unreliable. Unfortunately, we often sacrifice our Integrity as a result. We tell ourselves and others that we ran out of time. When the truth is really that we didn’t begin working soon enough. “Running out of time” is a lie wrapped up in an excuse.
I have a framed photo beside my desk that says,
Dave’s #1 Issue: Procrastination
Do It Now!
Procrastination may be part of my personality. It may be a trait I learned from others. But either way, it is a character flaw for me. Each time I make a choice to put off doing something that needs to be done, I am developing a habit that will cause me to be a selfish, unreliable and a hypocritical person. Each time I “Do It Now!” I am taking another step towards being someone who exercises Selflessness, Duty, and Integrity.
Procrastination may seem like a small thing to some of us. But it affects others and also affects who we are becoming. If we avoid procrastination, we are closer to becoming the Leader of Character we are all able to be called to be as well. So don’t wait – Do It Now!
Dig Deep Questions:
What do you procrastinate doing?
How does procrastination make us a selfish person?
Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.
Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.
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