Putting things off doesn’t feel as good as one might hope. This is because the defenses used in procrastination, such as numbing and denial, kill the fun you might get out of avoiding doing something unpleasant. Plus, when you eventually have to do the thing you avoided, there is so little time left that high anxiety or even panic ensues in order to get it done. Your end product will not be as good as it could have been.
If you are struggling with procrastination, please know it is a habit, and that like any habit, it can be broken. Part of getting rid of this of this self-debilitating habit is examining what might be driving it. Some common reasons people develop the habit of procrastination include:
Perfectionism – the fear of things not coming out the way that you plan.
Fear of Failure – of making decisions you might regret.
Authoritarian parents – Attachment theory postulates that adults who had authoritarian parents often resist outside regulation, while at the same time not having much of a sense of internal control either.
Self-esteem issues – the feeling that what you do doesn’t really matter and that you can’t change it anyway.
Depression and/or anxiety - either of these can make focusing on difficult tasks feel impossible.
Creating an awareness of why you developed the habit of procrastination in the first place can be a first step to moving away from it. In my next blog I will talk about an approach to ending this habit. So stay tuned!