Beat Chronic Procrastination The Real Way
Beating Chronic Procrastination isn’t quite like overcoming your run of the mill bout of procrastination. It is different because it’s not only about addressing the fear and negative feelings associated with the task you’re putting off.
Chronic procrastination (CP) is a bit like an addiction. It becomes less and less about the task itself, and more and more about the delay. It feeds on the delay and the longer you put things off, the harder it gets to do them.
Chronic procrastinators usually have a to do list a mile long, with at least a dozen tasks that they’ve been putting off for weeks or months now. But worse than that, when you’re a long-time CP like me, the delay becomes your standard response to anything. That knee-jerk reaction, that first – maybe even unconscious – impulse to put it off just for now. Until tomorrow. Next week at the latest.
It’s a vicious circle that feeds on itself. It can be difficult to break at first, but every time you beat that standard response, every time you notice the automatism that’s happening, with every little win – no matter how small – you gain a bit more ground and it becomes easier and easier.
I know from experience. I’ve been trying to beat chronic procrastination all my life. It started in high school when I’d put off studying the difficult subjects. It spread to every area of my life, even taking over the things I enjoy doing.
But I’m on my road to recovery. It’s still an every day struggle for now, but I’m noticing a positive change for the first time in my life.
At work, I don’t let tasks accumulate to the point where they’re overwhelming and where I have deadlines breathing down my neck, or worse, swooshing by.
At home I’m maintaining a cleaning schedule and the apartment is mostly clean most of the time. I’ve cluttered a whole room now and the difference is remarkable!
It’s a long journey ahead still. But with every little win my resolve is strengthened. It gives me energy when the tasks roll around that are really difficult for me. That I absolutely positively WANT to putt off FOREVER, but can’t (*cough* taxes *cough*)
And that’s why I started this site. Because I thought: “Maybe there’s others out there who are experiencing the same thing. Maybe we can help each other.”
Thoughts to consider when dealing with procrastination:
It is not hopeless (few situations are truly hopeless).
It is not too late (there is always time if you start now) → PICTURE of tree, chinese proverb: the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now.
You are smart enough (or you wouldn’t have made it this far).
You can’t always do it later (as you’ll just keep putting “later” off until later, and someday there won’t be any time left. Harsh reality, but it’s the same for every being on this planet).
You will not perform better under pressure (the best work is done when it is well thought-out and you have time to adjust and handle last-minute complications).
- Beat chronic procrastination today once and for all, with FOCUS instead of willpower!