For a few days now, I have been offline and my ecommerce site too was down. Over the past year, user experience had not been as smooth and perfect as I desired. There were a lot of complaints and I knew this was a major reason we were not making sales and retaining customers. First, I must state that I don’t believe in luck and I am sceptical about miracles.
Now, to my story. The website I’d just redesigned started out as a blog for sharing my knowledge. It expanded into a magazine, e-book store, and writing community. A few weeks back, I’d bought a new theme and planned to fix it up by the 31st of December. We had just launched a second edition of our magazine and we were also publishing a new book. I wanted to see if I could just wait and let the traffic die down a bit before I start to redesign.
Suddenly it hit me: this is not patience, it’s procrastination. You see, earlier in the year I had decided that I needed to learn patience and do things one after the other. I confused this decision with procrastination. I thought I was being patient.
I’d bought the theme from Envato and I had enough experience with WordPress CMS. I knew it would probably take me a day or two but I somehow convinced myself that New Year’s Eve would be a better time.
I pointed at the prospective customers and pretended like a few hours of shutdown would affect our trickle of sales. All so that I wouldn’t do the work immediately. Now I feel better that I did not accept that excuse from myself.
Patience Versus Procrastination
This is how I realised the difference between patience and procrastination:
1. The excuses involved had nothing to do with me.
2. I had all the required ingredients for work to be done. My skill, the theme and the time.
3. There was no way to quantify my fear. I could not be sure I won’t still lose much more by keeping the work till New Year’s Eve.
4. It was all about other people and circumstances I could not predict.
When you are being patient, it means you don’t yet have everything you need to do work. It implies that you have to wait either for a better bargain or something that would make you able to accomplish the task better. That’s patience. It’s a quantifiable need that would help you achieve work better or faster and is within your immediate reach.
You don’t claim to be patient while waiting for a billion dollars. Whatever you are waiting for must be within your immediate reach. Perhaps a pending payment, a shipment or something similar.
The ability to differentiate between these two has helped me to always know when I am procrastinating. The worst thing that can happen to a procrastinator is for him to believe that he is patient.
We are now in a new year and the desire to make positive change is in the air. Everyone wants to turn a new leaf. If you want to beat procrastination and achieve more in less time, then identify all the things you have been “patient” about and evaluate them to see if it was truly patience or procrastination.
If you cannot even determine what’s making you pend decisions on your life goals, you may never beat procrastination.
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