The Mind of a Procrastinator

In the movie Groundhog Day Phil tells Rita he spent four or five hours a day for six months learning to flick playing cards into a top hat.

“Is this what you do with eternity?” she asks.

Short answer? If you’re a procrastinator, yes.

I’m one of the worst procrastinators I know – always have been. I’ll find almost anything to occupy my time other than what I should be doing. If you know the feeling – or even if you don’t – here’s a brilliant video that perfectly illustrates the mind of a procrastinator:

If that’s you in a nutshell, and you’re not sure Tim Urban’s presentation is enough to kick your butt into gear, then this might help:

Stop saying this: “Sorry, I don’t have time.”

Say this instead: “Sorry, it’s not a priority to me.”


Imagine telling your niece, “I’m sorry I couldn’t make your dance recital, it wasn’t a priority to me.”

Or telling your best friend, “I’m sorry I haven’t looked at your website yet, it isn’t a priority to me.”

How did that feel? Painful, right? It should feel painful, because it’s honest.

And that’s the problem with the phrase, “I don’t have time.” It’s a lie. Or, at least it’s mostly a lie.

Just the other day, I was all set to cancel my gym membership, because “I don’t have time to go to the gym,” and my husband told me, “If working out isn’t a priority to you, then go ahead.”


So I kept the gym membership.

Maybe, we can’t be expected to do everything, but we do actually have more “time” than we think. But that won’t be true forever. So let’s look at those priorities again. That way, the next time we tell someone, “Sorry, that isn’t a priority to me,” it’s not only honest but also something we can live with.


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