Procrastinators live for a distraction. We might not be doing the right work, but hey, we’re doing work. Did you just hear a Tweet chirp? I’m kidding, come back from Twitter. Keep reading.
Distractions leave us feeling busy. How often do we hear the following, “So much to do”, “I’m swamped”, “it never ends” etc. Much of this feeling of being overwhelmed stems from procrastination. I mean seriously, the “OMG, my inbox is at zero tweets,” are hilarious.
Inbox bloat is a classic example of pushing off email for something you would rather do. Yes, I understand some people are a really big deal and have thousands of emails a day, but for the rest of us we just don’t want to do it. Do you have anything on your to-do list that seems to always get pushed to the back burner?
I am not a fan of banking, taxes or 1099s. I have a system in place that takes care of almost all of my banking info. I really only need to tend to it once a month. The problem, I loathe working with numbers. Frankly, I don’t even like taking a check to the bank. Then I’m faced with those stupid little deposit slips and first grade math.
Naturally, I let a month or two go by on the books, then I come up with some great excuses on why they can wait. This year it took me until January 30th to actually commit. That’s right, I spent all day yesterday getting everything in order for taxes and 1099s, when 20 minutes once a month would have taken care of it.
I am an “avoider” when it comes to banking! There I said it.
I think the first step in understanding procrastination is to define which category we fall into. Psychologytoday.com has the following definitions for procrastinators. Do you fit into one of these categories?
3 Types of Procrastinators
- Arousal: Thrill seekers that wait to complete tasks until the last minute for the rush.
- Avoider: An avoider is afraid of failure or success. Rather than start a task they avoid it.
- Decisional: They cannot make a decision. This way they don’t have to take responsibility for the outcome of the decision.
Procrastinating here or there is fine, we all do it. Serial procrastination however can stop you from ever getting started, or completing your goals. A vicious cycle of anxiety, stress and more procrastination can be hard to break.
It doesn’t matter where you start in this cycle. Maybe you’re anxious about starting a project. You want to start but you don’t know how. Or maybe you know exactly where to start but you’re afraid to fail.
Either way you now have stress so your natural defense mechanism is to procrastinate.
We have identified 3 types of procrastinators and the effects of proctrastinating. Next week we’ll talk about why we procrastinate on goals we want to achieve. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post or procrastination in general. Please leave a comment below if you have something to add.