Series Part 1: What is Procrastination? And how do we stop it??Posted by Renee Frechette on
Finding yourself overloaded with tasks and struggling to finish what you have on the go? You are not alone! You are also not alone if you catch yourself putting off or avoiding tasks by getting distracted with other things. Let us help you figure out what procrastination is exactly, and how you can help stop it.
What is Procrastination?
The definition of procrastination is to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay. Everyone has been guilty of doing that at some point in their life (cue me watching Netflix for 3 hours instead of doing the 14 loads of laundry I should have done a week ago), but the end result is that important tasks keep getting put off and it can cause a lot of emotional drain and anxiety.
So, How do we Stop It?
Stopping procrastination can be very difficult. Humans have limited self-control, and when push comes to shove, we tend to choose the more pleasurable option instead of the right option. So how do we stop it?
1. Identify Your Triggers – The 5 Types of Procrastinator
Take a look at this flowchart and figure out what type of procrastinator you are (you might even find you are a mix of some of the types) and then see the triggers that you might have below:
Being perfect is the pleasure perfectionists want. But often this leads to them being too scared to show any imperfections. Because of this, they frequently fail to complete things, as they’re forever seeking the perfect timing or approach. Tasks end up never being completed because, in the eyes of the perfectionist, things are never perfect enough.
Instead of finishing something, perfectionists get caught up in a never-ending cycle of additions, edits, and deletions.
An ostrich prefers to stay in the dreaming stage. That way, they don’t have to work for real or deal with any negativity or stress.
Dreaming gives this type of people a false sense of achievement, as in their minds, they envision big, ambitious plans. Unfortunately for them, these plans will most likely stay as dreams, and they’ll never accomplish anything truly worthwhile.
A self-saboteur has bought into the line that ‘by doing nothing, bad things won’t happen.’
In reality, self-saboteurs have developed a fear of making mistakes or doing anything wrong. Their way to avoid these mishaps, is to do nothing at all. In the end, they may make few mistakes – but they also see few accomplishments.
Daredevils are those who believe that deadlines can push them to do better. Instead of having a schedule to complete their work – they prefer to enjoy time doing their own thing before the deadline comes around.
It’s most likely an unconscious thing, but daredevils evidently believe that starting early will sacrifice their time for pleasure. This is reinforced in their minds and feelings, by the many times they manage to get away with burning the midnight oil. Often, they sacrifice the quality of their work because of rushing it.
Chickens lack the ability to prioritize their work. They do what they feel like they should do, rather than thinking through what they really need to do.
Prioritizing tasks is a step that takes extra time, so chicken will feel it’s not worth it. Because of this, they usually end up doing a lot of effortless tasks that don’t contribute much to a project. They’re incessantly busy on low-impact tasks, but seem oblivious to urgent, high-impact tasks.
Now that we have identified what procrastination is and you have discovered all of the different types of procrastinators there are, take a week to analyze the different types you might be for different things. Maybe you are a Chicken for your work life and a Daredevil in your personal life, maybe you are just a straight-up Perfectionist all of the time! Next week we will learn how to deal with your triggers, and what you can do to make procrastination a thing of the past.