May Do-Over: Procrastination Is Being Unwilling to Finish What You Started

I am continuing to review my series on procrastination by repeating and commenting on the original posts from last August. For today, the focus is on this rather uncomfortable thought:

Procrastination is being unwilling to finish what you start. Ouch!

It makes me experience a strange combination of feelings, including anger, defensiveness, frustration, and guilt. Am I really *unwilling* to finish what I start?

This idea sent me into a period of retrospection and reflection, followed by the stark realization that there have in fact been times that I simply didn’t want to finish something I started (projects, meal preparation, exercise routines, freelance work, schoolwork, plans for one thing or another…).

Other times, I’m not sure if it is unwillingness as much as taking on too much — being out of balance — and getting overwhelmed to the point that I feel unable to accomplish what I should. So maybe, after all, it does end up being an *unintentional* unwillingness to finish what I started! The wiser idea, as the above image suggests, would be to take those baby steps–one at a time, one task at a time–rather than getting overwhelmed with the BIG picture.

I think some of the most glaring unfinished things for me have been {{cough, cough…continue to be}} freelance projects, plans to de-clutter and reorganize around home, and sewing projects. The problem is, as I’ve mentioned before in a quote from Joyce Meyer, the inherent character flaws that caused this issue won’t go away if I continue NOT to face them and change myself and my attitude toward them:

If you have been tempted recently to give up–don’t!

If you don’t finish the thing you are currently involved in,

you will face the same challenges in the next thing you start.

Some people spend all their lives starting new things

and never finishing anything.

Let us make a decision to be more than people

who never reached their full potential.

–Joyce Meyer

So what do you think? Do others of you struggle with this issue of being unwilling to finish what you started, either consciously or unintentionally? Do you think it’s rebellion? Fear? Laziness? Overwhelmed and over-committed?

May Do-Over: Procrastination Is a Barrier and Lack of Self-Control<< >>May Do-Over: Procrastination Interferes with Fulfilling Our Potential

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9 comments to “May Do-Over: Procrastination Is Being Unwilling to Finish What You Started”

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  1. Kimberly Eldredge - May 6, 2014 Reply

    I disagree that procrastination isn’t being willing to finish what you started. For me, I get stuck because I can’t identify WHAT’S NEXT. Since I can’t clearly see the next step to take, it’s easier to take no step at all.

    BUT when I pause and ask myself: what’s REALLY my next action, I force myself to really think about it. It’s never the step I assumed. (It’s not editing the client project; it’s PRINTING it so I can edit it.) Once I find the block, I can do the action and get moving.

    If that doesn’t work, I set a timer for twenty minutes and tell myself I HAVE to work for twenty minutes. Usually, I can either finish the task OR am so engrossed, I don’t want to stop!
    Kimberly Eldredge recently posted..Pointing Out Somebody’s Mistake: 3 Tips

  2. Vanessa Terrell - May 6, 2014 Reply

    Interesting post. I think for me procrastination sometimes means the task is so daunting that it is easier for me to move on to something that I can complete quickly and come back to the task that is going to take more time!
    Vanessa Terrell recently posted..Happy Mother’s Day

  3. Beth Hewitt - May 6, 2014 Reply

    I don’t tend to suffer from procrastination these days. But I think that comes down to doing more of the things I love as I move through life.

    If I do procrastinate however, it’s usually because my intuition is telling me, to change direction or take stock.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Beth 🙂
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..WPFixit – Fixed It…

  4. Francene Stanley - May 7, 2014 Reply

    I can only think of one thing that I sometimes don’t do–my daily walk. That happens if I’m in too much pain. I’ve learned that forcing myself to do it causes more. And yet, I don’t die. Maybe I should push through the pain.
    Francene Stanley recently posted..The stats are in–carbon pollution is driving climate change.

  5. Sophie Bowns - May 7, 2014 Reply

    This was a very interesting post indeed. Sometimes I do procrastinate and then after I’ve completed the task I think…WHY!
    -But I never learn!
    Sophie Bowns recently posted..Teddy- Chapter 6

  6. Ana - May 8, 2014 Reply

    I’m always starting things and then not finishing them. I have two almost completed books that just need final touches before sending off to an editor, but I find myself writing a new one instead 🙂

    Some of that is the excitement of a new topic compared to one that I am very familiar with and the other is whether the book will sell when I put it out there. If it never goes out there I’ll never know!
    Ana recently posted..NEVER Do This After Your First Date. Really??

  7. Bonnie Gean - May 9, 2014 Reply

    I believe the answer is different for everyone, based on what their life has going on right now. You can only fill the glass to the top.

    If you take on too much, something is going to spill over to the next day, weeks and months down the road.

    It may be procrastination for some, but for most I believe it’s not having the time necessary to do everything we need to.

    Our plates are too full. 🙂
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..WSO Infographics Package Update

  8. Misty Spears - May 14, 2014 Reply

    My procrastination definitely comes from taking on too much. I get too many things on my plate and can’t make a decision on which one to tackle first, so instead I move on to something totally unrelated and unimportant…or just fun, so I don’t have to deal with it.
    Misty Spears recently posted..Comparing Yourself to Others – It’s All Apples to Oranges

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