You Aren’t the Only One Putting Things Off

Welcome to Day 3 of the Procrastination to Progress Challenge for October. I apologize again for it’s lateness, as I’ve been dealing with the family concern around my dad. I don’t fail to recognize the irony of this situation that I had all this prepared Word wise but didn’t prepare the blog posts because I wanted to allow myself to post each day. Note to self: Prescheduling posts isn’t a bad thing as long as you still engage daily! Without further ado…

Everyone procrastinates. Everyone. At any given time, it’s estimated that 20% of people are procrastinating some aspect of their lives. Students procrastinate studying for tests. Employees put off preparing for meetings and writing reports. Pretty much everyone falls behind in housework and does the mad dash when someone calls to say they are stopping by.  That means life is being impacted by failure to take action whether we are on the clock or off of it. It’s normal to postpone things for a variety of reasons, but it becomes a problem when it becomes habitual.

The Truth About Why People Procrastinate

Contrary to popular belief procrastination isn’t a time management issue; it’s so much more. Procrastinators don’t put things off by hitting the snooze button too many times. They are usually driven by internal aversions that they may or may not be aware of.

While people procrastinate for a variety of reasons, some of the most popular reasons are to avoid feeling afraid or overwhelmed. Sometimes they procrastinate because they don’t know what to do first, so they do nothing at all. This is really popular for folks with mental struggles that prevent them from breaking up big pictures items or large projects into bite-sized pieces. I deal with this due to living with ADD.

If you are interested in learning about specific reasons and how to address them, read this article on Lifehack by Leon Ho. He discusses how you can tackle:

  • The Perfectionist’s Fear
  • The Dreamer’s Lack of Action
  • The Overwhelmed Advoider
  • The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization
  • The Distraction-Prone

Why Procrastination Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Sometimes procrastination can be a positive thing, especially if you tend to be impulsive. Many times, it helps to wait a bit before taking action. Here are some examples of ways procrastination can be beneficial:

  • Procrastination may help you sort out what’s important: You tend to take quick action on the things you love. It’s not hard for most people to convince themselves to get up off the couch and grab some ice cream. Procrastination can make you aware of tasks and activities that you don’t really need in your life. Consistently putting something off may be a clear indicator it isn’t a priority. Start to identify the things you are constantly procrastinating on and consider removing them from your schedule or hiring them out to someone else.
  • Procrastination may help you reduce regret: Acting too soon on an impulse can cause problems. If you don’t sort things out you could end up sorry. Procrastination can be to your advantage if it buys you enough time to think things through and avoid making mistakes or regrettable decisions. This is especially true for large purchases, life-changing decisions, or extreme changes in your life.
  • Procrastination may help you get more stuff done: If you’re an active procrastinator (doing what I like to call “productive procrastination”) you may get more done while you procrastinate. Active procrastinators fill their time with less important, but still meaningful, tasks in order to avoid doing the activity they don’t want to do. This can lead to a cleaner home, empty inbox, additional calories burned, and other low-priority items being completed while you avoid doing a larger project.

Procrastination is an activity everyone engages in from time to time. It’s perfectly normal but it could become a habit if you’re not mindful. Be wary of putting things off and watch out for the warning signs that procrastination is starting to affect you in negative ways.  

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about two ways procrastination can be ruining your life. This will explain why this topic is so important to me as a writer and voice discovery coach who values relationships and realizes I ultimately want to work only for myself.

One Comment on “You Aren’t the Only One Putting Things Off

  1. Pingback: Procrastination to Progress Challenge: Weekly Check In – Shell Vera

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