I’m pretty sure I hold the record for procrastinating. Even as a senior citizen I remember starting to “write a book” when I was 12 years old. I was the heroine of the story and my name was Molly Molone! The opening scene was me pushing a barrow which was obviously a memory I “borrowed” from my mother. Use this link to see my memory plagiarism!
Psychology Of Procrastinating
In layman’s terms procrastination is the brains emotional response to avoid negative consequences. It is described as a “negative coping response” There are so many different studies about why we “put off today what we can do tomorrow” that I have come to the conclusion that “one size does not fit all!” So, rather than use any more homilies I will list the causes of procrastination that could apply to me but don’t!
Causes Of Procrastination
- The task is so stressful that don’t do it! Unfortunately the worry of not doing it is also stressful. The experts would call this a “negative coping response”
- I fear failure so so I don’t start the task. However by not starting the task I have already failed!
- I am lacking in time management skills. This would seem an obvious failing but as a State Registered Nurse and a Teacher Head of Dept. I had many years of proving that my time management skills were more than adequate to keep my employed for nearly 50 years
- I am lacking in motivation due to the fact that the task is irrelevant. My reply to this is that in my retirement I very seldom do anything that is “irrelevant”
- Perfectionism! Now, this I like but with me it works in the opposite direction…….I never finish. There’s always something I can change to make it better.
Professor Joseph Ferrari
“To tell the chronic procrastinator to just stop doing it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”
Overcoming procrastination depends entirely on which of the causes of procrastination are your best fit. There is no wrong answer and you can choose any or all of the above. Which is exactly what I did!
- I realized the stress of not writing was no different to the stress of writing so I might as well start.
- I made a bargain with myself that publishing was an optional extra.
- I gave myself permission not to write a whole book. Short stories were the obvious solution
- The issue of motivation was dealt with by the passage of time….I wasn’t getting any younger!
- You may think there is no solution to aiming for perfection and I have to admit that the solution was not mine. I linked one of my short stories to Facebook, (A Love Letter For Jimmy) and my unknown viewers liked it!
Any tips on how you overcame procrastinating are gratefully received! Just add them to the comments below.