There must be a reason for you putting off until tomorrow what you can do today. Or is that the point a procrastinator tries to make when delaying a decision or an action? A reason or an excuse for not starting, or in some cases, not completing something that you know needs work, is what a procrastinator looks for to explain their delays.
You may have heard of studies indicating that the average human makes 35,000 decisions daily. A quick assessment of your daily routine will make you realize the broad range of these decisions. The selections of clothing to wear, food to eat, personal hygiene activities, commuting decisions, social interactions, and self-help barely scratch the surface of how much our mind does during the course of our day.
In making all those decisions, do you stress over how many mistakes you make? Do you give yourself credit for making the better choice? Have you even realized before now that your mind is working so hard?
Whether you consider your daily routine busy or hassle-free, you still make decisions each and every conscious day, hour, and minute you exist. In fact, your choices are also what dictates how you will respond to the timing and execution of carrying out your plans.
There is often more effort put into not starting something than the effort that it would take to initiate the project. So, in that sense, we can explore procrastination from a perspective that rejects the notion that it is out of laziness.
Through this paradigm, we will see that procrastination is, in fact, a choice. We actively choose to do something or not to do something. By accepting the belief that things do not just happen without effort, by default, we acknowledge that our behaviors of failing to initiate tasks also do not just occur without us taking a role in the decision to postpone our actions.
While most people correctly view procrastination as a negative quality, many are surprised to learn that procrastination is not exclusive to chores, tasks, and other mundane actions. Failing to plan a vacation, purchase a new car, or develop and solidify new relationships can all be subject to procrastination, even when financial and social barriers are non-existent.
It may be the momentary bliss that a harmful habit offers, like putting off doing something and reveling in the free time you just gave yourself. However, the yin to that yang is the crush of time when you are needed to perform the responsibility you forsake. Yet, we still do it!
Anxiety and fear can play roles in avoiding a decision to initiate a meaningful attempt at a project. There is a vast spectrum to be considered when these emotions are taken into account. Dread of commitment or the apprehensions related to failure and success are anchors that weigh in on decision-making. Fear of commitment does play a significant role in the suspension of actions taken.
Among the gamut of fears are those of failure and even of success. The prospect of gaining attention for both poor performances and exceptional work is similarly devastating to those who suffer from these types of fears. Attention seekers may jump at the prospect of launching an exciting innovation while their counterparts will wallow in stagnation to concerns about risk.
The term neophobia describes the fear of starting something new. Typically, the results of a new venture are unknown. As much as that is a thrill to the opportunist, it wreaks havoc on the person who thrives on a routine.
Conversely, the concept of perfection paralysis has been well documented in individuals and organizational cultures as a means of waiting for the exact right moment to start something. If you keep waiting for the perfect time to make that move, you will be waiting for the rest of your life!
Both are equally damaging since the take-off never happens. Worse, there is no way to effectively evaluate any chance of measurable success when procrastinating people fail to deliver on even the most basic of requests.
For people who enjoy creating lists, there is a multitude of types of procrastination. There are creative descriptors for procrastinators, and some people may take particular pride in being categorized as a “perfectionist,” a “dreamer,” or an “idealist.” Yet, other procrastinators are typed as “crisis-creators” and “inattentive.”
The bottom line is that when we define procrastination as a choice, there are but two types to discuss:
The Active Procrastinator will deliberately approach deadlines, counting on the adrenaline rush and excitement of the chase to complete them. Most people in this category hold a fundamental belief that they perform well under pressure, and the increased tension improves their abilities to perform. This may hold true, yet it is the basis of the formation of habitual procrastination and often comes back to destroy creativity.
The Passive Procrastinator will put off tasks in hopes that a deadline will pass. In this hope, they also want to fly under the radar in the hopes that the next assignment is redirected to someone else. By self-sabotaging their ability to perform, this postponer will be relied upon less and less to get things done. It is a small and temporary victory that has long-lasting ill effects.
There is certainly no question that as much as you may justify to yourself the reasons for your procrastination, there will be negative consequences. Foremost is the likelihood that the self-imposed delays will become habitual. It always seems that negative habits develop quicker than those habits that add value to your life.
The external ramifications of habitual procrastination culminate in a loss of respect, trust, and reputation from people who rely on you to perform at your best. Whether it is your family, friends, co-workers, or business and academic associates, no one appreciates when they are left short due to you not fulfilling an obligation.
Absent the respect and approval of people who are significant in your social and professional circles; you may develop increased stress levels. The added weight of stress will often cause diminished motivation that can result in a negative spiral effect and burnout.
When the negativity and loss of trust associated with procrastination introduce themselves into your family and personal relationships, your sense of satisfaction and self-esteem can erode along with the happiness you strive for each day. Undue tension may cause you to give up on planning and seriously jeopardize your long-term goals.
The fallout from procrastination habitualization often manifests into financial issues. This is partly due to a tendency to forgo paying bills and not paying attention to critical financial matters.
People learn that they are procrastinators, either by self-revelation or by being told by another that they fail to meet standards of timeliness. For those seeking to modify their punctuality, the first question is often, “How do I stop procrastinating? The answer lies in developing the ability to assert yourself in creating new habits. Consistency in routines can be established by prioritizing tasks and responsibilities before trying to tackle them.
People who normalize strict routines such as workouts, household chores, and meeting work deadlines may be able to self-motivate when becoming aware of shortcomings in other areas.
The first step will be the most difficult, mainly because the reasons for procrastination are more profound than an initial desire to counter the detrimental effects of delaying decisions.
However, people who realize that they are procrastinators in the majority of their life tasks may find it difficult even to seek help from a certified life coach specializing in establishing healthy habits for personal growth. This is just one area where life coaching skills will enable you to take control of your time rather than time taking control of your life.
Life coaching services will introduce you to methods to empower your mindset with tools and personal coaching to transform your life! Life coaching benefits those who need an experienced and non-judgmental guide to help steer them into unleashing the power within themselves.
Often an outside perspective can be shown to a person having difficulty staying on track to attain their goals. When you hire a life coach, you are gaining an ally in a battle against destructive and damaging habits.
In order to change these habits into productive ways of being, a professional life coach will make you accountable to yourself for your own actions and decisions. When you find a life coach specializing in developing the skills needed to succeed, one of the first contracts you will endorse is a commitment to yourself.
Many books, videos, blogs, and multimedia platforms offer insights into the puzzling aspects of habitually delaying your responsibilities. Some offer the answers to your questions on how to cure procrastination. Others celebrate the perceived “Joy” of procrastination and all of the beautiful free time it can provide to you.
In this conflicting cornucopia of information, you can know one thing, there is no “cure” for a habit that is detrimental to a productive and healthy lifestyle.
A modification in your personal behaviors, a refocusing of priorities, a valuation placed on your time and effort, and accountability to yourself and those who depend on you all are the steps you need to take to develop your punctuality.
Merging your motivational, inspirational, and disciplinary attributes to become a dependable asset to others while claiming self-respect in knowing that you are capable of achievement is the path to overcoming a procrastinated personality.
What do you have to do to stop procrastinating? Stop thinking about it and start to do it!
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