I think there’s a little procrastinator in all of us. I knew that procrastination wasn’t only about “not wanting to do the thing when I was supposed to do it.” Procrastination, Why You Do It, and What to Do About it NOW offered many different perspectives. The main thing that resonated with me was the emotional piece of procrastination and fear.
I’ll start with a quote about fear attributed to Mark Twain: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
How do procrastination and fear intertwine? Fear of perfectionism. Fear of success. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of failure. The list can go on and on.
How do procrastination and fear of perfectionism intertwine? “If I procrastinate turning in my report, they can’t find anything wrong with it.” Viola! Not turning in the report protects us from criticism.
How do procrastination and fear of success intertwine? “If I pull this project off without a hitch, they will expect more and more out of me, and I just don’t think I’m that good.” Viola! Eliminating the opportunity for visible success protects us from additional responsibilities.
How do procrastination and fear of rejection intertwine? “If I procrastinate cleaning the apartment, I can’t ask Steve out on a date; therefore, Steve can’t reject my invitation.” Viola! Not cleaning the apartment removes the possibility of rejection.
How do procrastination and fear of embarrassment intertwine? “If I don’t RSVP to the event, I don’t have to worry about doing or saying the wrong thing.” Viola! By not participating, we completely eliminate the possibility of embarrassment.
How do procrastination and fear of failure intertwine? “If I don’t sign up for the golf tournament, people won’t know what a bad golfer I am.” Viola! Not signing up for an event doesn’t open us up to being anything but the best.
Although the emotional component of procrastination was the big “ah-ha” moment for me, Procrastination, Why You Do It, What to Do About it NOW delves deeply into:
- The neuroscience of procrastination.
- The genetic component of procrastination.
- Time management and procrastination.
- Self-identity and procrastination.
- Procrastination and the tie to our values.
- How to examine your own procrastination habits and excuses.
- Reimagining procrastination and goal-setting.
- How challenging executive functions and ADHD may be impacting procrastination.
- How cultural differences affect procrastination and our view of procrastination.
- How to interact with a procrastinator and not drive yourself crazy. For a quick synopsis of this section, check out my blog, “Do you spend time with a procrastinator? Here are some coping strategies.”
There is a procrastinator within us, and there are procrastinators among us. However, once we realize that procrastination isn’t always a conscious decision, we can embrace understanding and forgiveness and take a path forward.
Looking for more resources on procrastination? I thought these were a great place to start.
NY Times: Why you procrastinate.
ADDitude Magazine: What stops me from starting?
Psychology Today: Procrastination
Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC
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