I’ll do it tomorrow…

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?


5 thoughts on “I’ll do it tomorrow…

  1. Procrastination is a really interesting topic (in fact, I’m procrastinating finishing my Psychology report on intelligence by reading this post as we speak) there are actually a lot of really interesting Psychology theories on it, which I didn’t realise until recently when a friend of mine decided to focus her essay topic on it (also ironic as she finished it on the day it was due in) but I have to say the idea you’ve presented above is the one that makes the most sense to me and that I agree with. I have also noticed that procrastination for me, has gotten considerably worse with age, and I’m pretty sure that’s because the older I get the higher the stakes and the more I worry I will fail! I just wish understanding it somehow actually made me able to do it less!

    Alas, back to the report…..I hope you manage to beat the dreaded demon. Happy working. :P

    • Oh, gosh. I really hope it doesn’t get worse with age – we will just have to beat the demon now! It is a really interesting subject though and I think that there is a lot more to it than I initially thought! :)

  2. I think I procrastinate mainly out of laziness, but in tasks that I absolutely have to do (for example, uni assignments) I usually don’t procrastinate at all. I guess it depends.

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