It would be wonderful if, once you got started with your time management, you continued to do it effortlessly; if it became second nature to you, and you just kept getting better and better at it, and better and better at your work.
It would be wonderful, but that’s usually not what happens. Here’s what does: you stick to your Time Management system for a few days or even a few weeks, then start to backslide. First, you stop Tracking your time, then you stop doing your weekly Tally and Review, and then you lose track of your Weekly Schedule entirely.
Eventually, you’re back at square one—not managing your time at all—only now you feel worse than before because, in addition to not doing your work, you’re also not doing your Time Management.
Clear one hurdle on the path to success and self-actualization, and you’re likely to encounter another. Having established a realistic Mission and a reasonable Schedule, you’re now faced with the challenge of sticking to that Schedule. If you’re unable to do so, don’t be ashamed or discouraged; in this section of The Lifelong Activist, I will tell you exactly how to conquer procrastination, which is probably the biggest hurdle you face and a leading cause of activist frustration, failure and burnout. It is usually rooted in fear, so the key to beating it is to learn how to Manage your Fears.
In Chapters 2 through 6, I provide an overview of what procrastination is, how it feels, who suffers from it, and the exact nature of the problem.
In Chapters 7 through 10, I offer a simple behavioral solution to procrastination that may work for you, if your procrastination problem is not rooted in too high a level of fear.
In Chapters 11 through 19, I discuss the kinds of fears that can cause more severe procrastination problems.
In Chapters 20 through 26, I offer a plan for defeating fear-based procrastination.
Because fear is a frightening topic in itself, I want to offer a word of encouragement up front: fear-based procrastination is a solvable problem, and can be solved much more quickly than you might imagine. So, stay brave!