I’ll do it tomorrow. Unfortunately, this has become my mantra and I need to do something about it. Maybe tomorrow…
Procrastination is, and has been, a problem of mine for a very long time now and I am just now realising how bad it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a lazy person. In fact, I am quite the opposite – I never stay in my pajamas all day, I don’t watch much TV, waking up past 6.30 in the morning is sleeping in for me, and I actually like working. However, I exhibit a consistent failure to complete everyday tasks, errands and projects in any way that could be considered timely. Almost everything must reach some sort of “scary, panicky point” before I finally move on to it. Let’s just say I suffer from what I like to call a “productivity lag”.
Yesterday, while I was putting off writing my speech for English, I found a quote which I found almost frighteningly relatable and I thought that I would share it with you today.
“It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behaviour that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.”
—David Cain, “Procrastination Is Not Laziness”
What is your opinion on procrastination?