To do or not to do?

What is procrastination? Good question, I’ll answer that later. 

Maybe you’re reading this because you want to know more. Maybe you’re reading this because there’s some impending work, social obligation or filial responsibility that you’re trying to postpone for a future you that is definitely not going to appreciate it.

The world goes round and round and us procrastinators would rather postpone the revolution than deal with it posthaste. 

The promised time has arrived! Procrastination is where you delay a task to a possibility of negative consequences. When there’s some work that needs to be done, but you keep finding reasons to postpone them, congratulations, you’re procrastinating!

Kinds of Procrastination

Like the hydra, procrastination has numerous heads. According to the procrastination workbook, by William Knaus, They are as follows:

Social Procrastination:

Any procrastination that is related to social or societal obligations, falls under this HEADing. 

So, if you agreed to a social obligation that you don’t want to undertake and consequently delay tending to them, you’re socially procrastinating. 

Deadlines like assignment due dates, tax filing dates, project deadlines etc, are societal tools to organize and operate business, academia and government. 

When we find ourselves delaying such obligations we partake in social procrastination. 

Some delays are impersonal in nature, like paying our deadlines. 

Others are personal in nature, like attending the wedding of a colleague, or attending a party with your friends. 

Personal Procrastination:

Have you ever procrastinated learning that new language? Have you put off going to the gym or making that appointment with your therapist?

If yes, then you have been the prey of personal procrastination. When we delay activities that can improve our physical or mental wellbeing, it comes under the heading of personal procrastination.

Delaying such personal-development as being assertive, learning healthy expression of negative emotions or learning how to love yourself can therefore have a resounding impact on your physical and mental health.

Roots of Procrastination

Having recognized the kinds of procrastination, let’s move on to where they stem from so we can slay the hydra! 

Discomfort Dodging:

Imagine a game of dodgeball. Why are we dodging the ball? Obviously so we don’t get hit square in the face. The pain of being hit is what we are so desperately avoiding which translates to us jumping around frantically.

Now replace the dodgeball with any circumstance that causes you discomfort and the jumping around with procrastination. 

Sometimes the prospect of going through with a task is so discomforting that we decide to keep pushing it instead of going through with it.

So if you find it absolutely discomforting to have a conversation over the phone, and you delay the call, you’re playing a metaphorical game of dodgeball. 

When we perceive something as something that we absolutely can’t do and consequently keep postponing it, regardless of the importance of the task, we are discomfort dodging.

Self-Doubt:

Have you ever delayed a task because you feel that you’re not skilled enough or smart enough to do the task justice? 

Self-doubt is the name, procrastination is the game. 

When we perceive a task as beyond our capabilities, we tend to postpone them. 

Thinking on the lines of, “I am not good enough for this job.” or any variation thereof is an indicator of the self-doubt seeping into our bones.

Productivity = Worthy Human:

Time is a cosmic force, not a product that rolex can roll around in gold and present to us as markers of our pride and worth.

The contemporary society rewards productivity. This leads to a faulty system that translates to, if you aren’t productive, then you’re worthless. Only the people who use time efficiently are good enough. This deeply entrenched belief system is harmful. 

Procrastination in this case seems like a pleasing alternative. Instead of failing at something therefore labeling yourself a loser, not participating would mean that you can’t fail at all! 

Perfectionism:

Always being perfect is an unrealistic and unachievable demand that many of us put ourselves through. 

It has to be absolutely perfect, and if we fail, we chastise and reprimand ourselves for having failed to meet the unreasonably high expectations that we have set for ourselves. 

To rid themselves of this inner censure, perfectionists instead prefer to procrastinate. If they never start, they won’t be worried about failing to meet their expectations. 

Often so many thoughts are flying around in their minds that they’d rather procrastinate than go through that inner turmoil.

Now that we can identify the hydra and know more about how its heads function, let’s suit up, and go slay that beast!! 

FOR KINGDOM AND GLORY, and of course for a better quality of life! 

Procrastination always rears its ugly head intermittently throughout our lifetimes, learning to effectively deal with it is the viable solution that therapy can help you achieve for the long-run. So let’s build up that stamina, for the long run that is life.

If you or somebody you know struggles due to one or more of the attitudes/behaviors mentioned above, please reach out to us for professional help at https://innerplanet.in/contact/