People (and I’m not naming any names here) who do it, know that they do it, often see it as a problem and do it anyway. They aren’t proud of it. It often makes them feel uncomfortable and yet they repeat the same patterns over and over again, forcing themselves into situations where they are left trying to complete projects at the last minute, often under a great deal of stress and occasionally at a sub-par level due to time constraints.
Just thinking about it makes my anxiety rise. It’s like when you think about having a dentist, drill your teeth for fillings. It just isn’t pleasant.
We’ve all procrastinated at one point or another, it’s probably more common a phenomenon than not – though I suppose that there are some people who do it much less than others.
Maybe it’s all in the anticipation. After all, people don’t really have a big issue procrastinating about things that they want to do. Procrastination is more typically reserved for unpleasant or arduous tasks, sometimes big things and sometimes very small.
Maybe some people really do, do their best work when they feel the urgency of a looming deadline.
Maybe it’s a way of taking control of circumstances in your life that are less favorable. Or maybe it’s a way of abdicating your role in the control that you do have in a given situation.
Maybe if your past experience tells you that you can wait until the last minute to do something and still receive the outcome you desire, there is some positive reinforcement for putting things off.
It’s a funny thing, procrastination. It’s pretty pervasive, often counterproductive, and surprisingly seductive all at the same time. I don’t have any big “answers” here tonight – I am just thinking “out-loud” a bit. The subject of procrastination keeps coming up in conversations that I have had with a number of folks over the last few weeks. It’s not an uncommon topic. And I do believe it can be “overcome” if that in fact, is your goal. But it’s still tricky.
In ways, I think procrastination is the evil cousin, of savoring. Maybe people who are procrastinators are better at living in the moment? That can’t be all bad. Is it?
It’s complicated. And for tonight I am not going to try to tie this up into a neat little package. I’m just going to put it out there, let you think about it a little bit if you want. Do you think of yourself as a procrastinator? Are there some things that you are more likely to procrastinate about than others? When you finally take action after procrastinating for a while about something, what gets you to move into action?
Maybe it’s one of those things that is worth thinking about sometimes, not to make yourself feel badly about it, but to decide how it effects you, what you get from it, and how you best deal with it? Maybe not, you decide.