Procrastination is sexy.
Controversial statement? Maybe. True statement? Definitely.
Procrastination is, simply put, the process of avoiding what you should be doing in favor of something less productive and more fun. Remember that time you had an essay due but instead of writing it, you watched Breaking Bad every night until the deadline was the next day? Yeah…me neither…but it’s a great example of procrastination at its finest.
Twenty percent of people identify their lifestyle as one that’s very procrastination-centric. They leave bill paying to the last minute, they don’t buy birthday presents until the night before – overall they just tend to put things off until the absolute last minute. Not good, young padawan, not good.
Procrastinators often find themselves saying things like “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow,” or “I work best under pressure.” The truth is that you won’t feel more like doing it tomorrow, and (sorry to break it to you) although it seems as though you work best under pressure, it’s likely that you only think you do because when deadlines are tight, you’re forced to get things done.
Not unlike vampires, procrastinators are made, not born.
Like learning the piano, procrastination is something that takes practice and time to develop. Yes, I’m saying that if you’re a procrastinator, you’re a procrastinator of your own making through years of repetitive putting things off.
But don’t freak out just yet. The good news is that if you can identify what your own personal brand of procrastination is, you’ll be one step closer to conquering it.
The 3 Genres of Procrastination
Dr. Ferrari (as well as having the coolest last name *ever*) identified 3 main types of procrastinators.
First, you’ve got your arousal types. You know how some people jump out of planes to feel a rush? Well these arousal types get that rush from leaving projects to the last minute. They genuinely enjoy the feeling of having to finish a project to a tight deadline – it gives them a euphoric rush.
Next, there are the avoiders. These guys might fear failure, or maybe even success. Whatever it is, they’re really caught up in what other people think of them and would rather not try than have others think they lack the ability. It means that if they do badly on an exam, they can place the blame on their lack of studying instead of on their lack of ability.
Finally, we come to the decisional procrastinators. Decisional procrastinators hate making decisions and would rather not make a decision than take responsibility for the outcome of events. They hate the idea that they might do something wrong, or that things won’t go to plan so they absolve themselves of the responsibility by procrastinating.
Are you identifying with any of these? Great! So…how do you kick the procrastination habit?
Kicking the Procrastination Habit
When it comes to procrastination, the only way out is through. Get organized, find a routine, and stick to it. Put together a to-do list for yourself, and set your priorities so that you take on the most urgent tasks first.
Be on top of technological distractions. If you’re someone who checks your email 5-6 times an hour, stop. Check it once an hour at most. If you find you’re on Facebook all the time, download a social media blocker like Anti-Social to make sure you stay off of social media when you should be working.
Doing nothing is easy; procrastination is easy. What’s hard is pulling up your big girl panties and giving it everything you’ve got. Everyone suffers from the allure of procrastination but not everyone fights back.
Find out what your biggest distractors are, work out a system that works for you, and then STICK TO IT.
Your time is valuable, so claim it, baby.