I’ve been a procrastinator all my life.
I don’t know when it started, but I remember instances of procrastination when I was a little kid. I started playing football at age five or six. When I got back from training, I always just threw my training bag – full of sweaty and stinking clothes – into the middle of the hallway and left it there for hours or days depending on when my mother finally freaked out on me.
Same with my school bag. For whatever reason, I was just too lazy to carry it upstairs into my room. And so I left it in the hallway, again, until my mother finally lost it and put enough stress on me to get it done.
I remember a fun incident that happened around Easter time. As kids, we all got a small Easter nest with chocolate bunnies and beautifully painted boiled eggs. My three brothers and I all kept the nests in our private rooms. A few days after Easter, our mother told us to put the remaining boiled eggs from our nests into the fridge. I have no idea why, but I just didn’t do it. Even when the egg started stinking up my room, I just left it there. It must have been lying around for weeks until my mother finally found it. She wasn’t happy.
How School Drove My Procrastination Habit
At school, things didn’t look different. I was naturally smart so I received good grades in spite of my lack of studying. Until 6th class, I barely ever studied at all and yet, I was still one of the best pupils.
This continued in the same way during high school and university. Over all those years, I was just lucky enough to be gifted with an above-average IQ. If it were for my self-discipline, I would have failed miserably. Heck, I could scarcely manage to register for university classes and exams on time. In fact, I often missed deadlines and was forced to wait until the next semester.
Looking back, I believe school was a major driver of my procrastination and lack of discipline. Just think about the conditioning that happened through all those years: “Oh, I get good grades by being lazy? Neat! Why should I bother about working hard or being more disciplined?”
I was learning (through constant reinforcement) that being lazy led to good outcomes. Even worse, I never had to develop any self-discipline because many things came so easy to me.