Reasons We Procrastinate

While we all procrastinate, some of us do it more than others. I mean really, why do something today when you can do it tomorrow? This has been my motto. Sometimes a bit scatterbrained has left me wishing and completely regretting I didn’t get my project done sooner. I dread the running around trying to get it all done at the last minutes. You know, we’ve all been there. “Ugh, if I could only turn back time.” The sad truth is time cannot go back and when you’re a procrastinator, time is never on our side.
To try to cut back on procrastinating, first I had to find out the why I did it. It’s not because I’m weak or slightly stupid but that I would rather be doing something else that is more fun. It’s been my experience, I have gone through these several types of procrastination . The key to beating them all is of course to understand why we procrastinate in the first place.

Here’s a quick guide to three different types of procrastinations. Because once you know who they are, you will be able to spot and beat them.

Anxious Procrastination.
Sometimes we put too much in our plate, or daily activities, which cause us to begin dreading all the things we have to do or accomplish. When there is no time for fun or things we like to do, we end up feeling the anxiety and stress begin to procrastinate. In turn this stress leads to more procrastination and the cycle continues. See, the result is more of what causes your stress. Ugh, a cynical roller coaster and round it goes. I know this too well.

Well, what can we do about it? This is quite simple really. Unschedule your life. Make time in your schedule for fun activities you enjoy during the day or in between the work day. If it’s something you enjoy doing, do it. Schedule it in your agenda as well. Work, work, fun, fun. The fun becomes the reward for your work and this way everything gets done, and in time which is very important. This scheduled fun or downtime will give you the chance to relax and prevent you from over scheduling. Sometimes it’s best to start your fun task first, you’ve made the dreaded task a lower priority which (in theory) will make you dread it a lot less, and in the meantime, you’re still being productive. It’s a win-win. Get it? Yay! :) It’s all about tricking your brain here.

“Plenty of time” Procrastination. 
Phew, boy am I guilty of this one. “Ugh, I have all day to do it, I’ll do it later.” Then all of a sudden later is already gone and past. See it’s true when they say, Time flies when you’re having fun If you think you have plenty of time, you will procrastinate.

The key to this one here is to create deadlines. If you have to-do you’ve been putting off for months, changes are they don’t have deadlines set on them. They don’t have priority. You might as well call it your “procrastination list.” Start by setting yourself deadlines on your lists and tell your friends or family about them if possible, you will be not only be able to get your work done, but you’ll do a good job of it. See this public announcements should keep bring you the motivation to meet those deadlines because nothing works better than nagging from a family member.

Perfectionist Procrastination 
Oh I know this one, I live with one. Gonna start to work out? Well, first he has to buy every single work-out book that’s ever been published. Gonna cook a meal, but first he has to buy every single cooking book ever published. And on it goes, you get it. Then there’s a hundred cooking books and no meal was ever prepared.

Perfectionists are always striving for the best and, as such, are constantly criticizing their own work. For some perfectionists, they will not cook a meal unless they went through a cooking study course. This fear of failing, or producing work to a low standard, can be so overwhelming they never actually get around to starting anything.

Just get it done already! Over planning or over thinking something ends up being your only reason to procrastinate and nothing else. Sometimes just doing an adequate job is good enough. A meal would’ve be nice. Like I always say, Something is always better than nothing Perfectionists procrastinators give themselves a hard time being happy with what is and focus too much or fantasize on perfection. Stop being hard on yourself and just let it be. Do what you can do now because rushing at the last minute will actually make you do a worse job anyways.
There is surely a procrastinator in all of us. For whatever reason it may be, it’s important to understand there are things we can do to fight it. I find scheduling in my “fun” times in are just as important and scheduling the important task. It brings balance to my life which otherwise can get a bit chaotic. With three kids, a business to run, a husband, a home to tend to and four cats, it can get easy to forget some things. But I manage. Some things I just cannot procrastinate no matter what. Family is always first.

Lorena Frith

Lifestyle Photographer in Houston, Texas

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