According to Wikipedia Procrastination refers to the deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behaviour as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting and/or completing any task or decision.
Have you ever said to your self, ‘I can’t do this now’ or ‘it can wait until tomorrow’ even though you know it should really have been done yesterday?
Do you ever try and justify those feelings of guilt or anxiety by making excuse after excuse for why you didn’t get that task completed on time?
I’ve been going through just such a phase in my life recently. I felt confused as to why my blogging had come to a full stop or why I hadn’t yet filled in the forms to continue the last stage of my studies or why I tend to hide away in my home glued to the computer, supposedly ‘working’ when really I’m browsing everyone else’s work.. The later of these has only served to help my procrastination continue unchecked.
For instance, I tell myself that my browsing is work. After all, I need to see what the current market trends are don’t I? In actual fact, every new product I see just reaffirms my own feeling of failure that my product is no longer as good as it could be.
I’ve spent a fortune, and I do mean a fortune, on video tutorials and online classes to improve my design skills and I’ve been diligent in organizing these but I’ve yet to actually complete a single one.
I have a lot of friends, or at least, I did. I’m too busy these days working to keep in touch though. And then, as time slips from days to weeks to months and even in some cases, years, its been too long since I last had contact that I shy away from making contact again in case they reject me. After all, it was me that stayed away.
My home, of which I’m so proud, or so I tell myself, looks like a bomb hit it most of the time. It’s gotten so bad I avoid letting anyone in anymore because I’m too embarrassed. Oh, its not ‘dirty’, just incredibly untidy and messy and I can’t think in mess, it depresses me but I have no idea where to start to clean it up.
And there has to be a reason why, despite making it my New Years Resolution every year since the year dot, I still can’t drive at almost 50.
Whats wrong with me? Why am I behaving this way? Why all these nonsense excuses?
Well, according to It's About Time author Dr. Linda Sapadin there are six types of procrastination that a person can be solely or a combination of. The styles are The Perfectionist, The Crisis-Maker, The Dreamer, The Defier, The Worrier and The Overdoer. Each title is self explanatory though each has a unique way of overcoming each type
Now, I haven’t read the book, I only came across this analogy while trying to figure out what my problem was but it struck home. I found I recognized myself and it was both a shock and a relief to find myself or rather, my behaviour, listed here.
I definitely relate to the Worrier and according to Dr Sapadin my particular procrastination style is as follows
“But I’m afraid to make a change!”
Worriers tend to have a too small comfort zone and hesitate to leave their cocoon. They try to avoid risk or change, which, of course, is quite impossible. Lacking confidence in their own abilities and decision-making, they often let deadlines quietly pass rather than take an active approach to getting things done and initiating activity.
In her article she suggests certain activities to help the procrastinator overcome their problem and this is what she suggests for my type.
What to Do
THINKING: It’s better to make a mistake and learn from it, then to keep avoiding tackling something new. Develop more confidence in your abilities—if you don’t know something, ask or research the answer.
SPEAKING: Worriers often catastrophize events by a “What if” question. When asking a question, look for answers. Don’t ask a rhetorical question to just raise your anxiety level.
ACTING: If something seems too overwhelming, break a project down into chunks that you can confidently handle. If there are areas that you truly don’t know enough about, take a course, read a book, don’t continue your ignorance
I must be honest. I was surprised how accurate her description of my feelings was. Even I hadn’t realized that’s what I was doing and why I was doing it. I even think I understand how it all began, going right back to my childhood when I was a very shy child, constantly told I would amount to nothing. Well, my procrastination has proved those people right after all.
The wonderful thing is, there is hope, a light at the end of the tunnel and apparently, I hold the key. If I follow Dr Sapadins suggestions, if I allow myself the option of ‘trying again if it doesn’t work this time’ instead of ‘I can’t afford to fail there fore I won’t try’, then I may actually get something done.
Its better then doing nothing isn’t it? And after all, doing nothing is the biggest failure of all, isn’t it?
So, I’m organizing my life, doing what I need to do first, what I want to do next and I’m taking it all one day at a time, in small bite size pieces. It may take a while to get there but at least I’m on the road.
Be patient, good things are coming to BooLand again, but not just yet. First I need to finish my studies. But do please keep checking back, every now and then there will be a little something for you to pick up here while I complete the necessary work. And then, ohhhh, just wait and see.
How about you? Does procrastination affect your life and if so, how do you deal with it?
And if you are a procrastinator, which one are you? Leave your comments and thoughts on the subject here and lets see what comes about.
Check out what Dr Linda Sapadin has to say on the subject here
But don’t forget your freebie and thanks for reading
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edit, sorry folks, the password is now correct. Thanks for pointing that out Stash :)
LianeZ left a cool post in response to my whine about procrastination. You can read it below. Thanks hun, I hear you and am taking your advice. hugs Boo x
Thanks for the Freebie. Procrastination is my friend! I too have a house that is a mess, Hubby & I just started with one small thing each - Him the mass of papers next to his chair and me the mass of papers in the bedroom. I found those plastice boxes that hold hanging file folder on sale 2 for one and the hanging floders on sale also. We are doing this in hope of tackling the 'office' before the cat shredds all the papers that need filing in there. The key for me has been to jump, don't look just jump and the he** with what everybody else thinks. If I miss the Christmas card mailing I do a valantines day card (30+ hand made all the same) and if I miss that (hasn't happen yet) there's alway St. Patty's Day, Easter, Earth Day... YOu get the idea. Some of my Friends & Family only get the 'card' a few get the joke e-mails that get forward. I DO NOT DO NEW YEARS RESOLOTIONS! Always fail at those, so I quit - Ilearned to quit setting myself up for failer just pick something that can be done in one or two days or nothing will ever get done. Go luck with your studies - LianeZ