Archive for productivity

Stop Procrastinating

Trust me, I’m an expert

I am very good at procrastinating.  In fact, you could say I have a penchant for putting things off, a proclivity for postponing…I’m a stalling savant, a doctor of dithering, the duke of delay…

ANYWAY, what I’m trying to say is that I have some experience in this subject.  My experience has taught me that when I stop procrastinating I get more done (duh), feel better about myself, and waste less time.

Why do you procrastinate?

One word: FEAR.

Fear of failure is a common cause of procrastination.  For some people, failure becomes so terrifying that rather than trying and failing they’d prefer not to try at all.  This unhelpful belief is often tied to perfectionism or unrealistically high expectations.

Conversely, sometimes people fear success.  You can’t stop procrastinating because if you actually succeed then more will be required of you.  Or perhaps success will garner you unwanted attention.  In either case, success increases the pressure to succeed again, which can discourage people from starting at all.

But what if you’re not afraid and you’re still procrastinating?  I’m not frightened by a pile of clean laundry, but you’d better believe I’m going to put off folding it.

Sometimes people procrastinate a task simply because it’s boring.  Boredom has been shown to stress the body in similar ways that sadness and anxiety do.  That’s why your 8-year-old doesn’t say, “I’m bored” with a smile and a lilt in his voice.  He moans, “I’m booooooorrrrred!” because it sucks to do boring things.

Other people procrastinate a task because they lack the skills required to complete it.  This one is often related to the fear of failure.

Some people put things off as a form of rebellion.  Dad wants you to become a doctor and you want to pursue a music career.  You conveniently postpone studying for the MCAT, resulting in a poor score.  “Sorry, Dad. I guess I’m not cut out for medical school.” Read More →