I waited until the last possible minute to write this blog. I’m not joking. When I took on the assignment, I made a joke about how ironic it would be to turn in a blog about procrastination, late. Well, it’s not late, but let’s just say if the deadline was a bus—I caught it JUST in time.
Here’s an extra tidbit for you—I VOLUNTEERED to write this! This was not an assignment that was put on my desk atop a mile-high pile of paperwork that needed to be completed. I asked to do this. And yet… here we are.
Why am I this way? Why are WE this way? (Yes, you.) Why do we put off for tomorrow what we can do today? Is it pure laziness? Is it out of fear that when we finally do the thing we are meant to do that it won’t be as good as we intended?
In a recent New York Times article, professor of psychology Dr. Fuschia Sirois says that procrastination is more about the latter—and perhaps something even deeper:
"It doesn’t make sense to do something you know is going to have negative consequences."
"People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task."
You don’t know my life, Dr. Sirois!
Procrastination is a way of "coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks—boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond."
Yikes. Okay, fine—I’m emotionally inept! Now what?
Here’s some help:
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
People say one of the first things to do to rid yourself of distractions and decrease stress level, is to clean up your surroundings. Since we’ve learned that procrastination could be a sign of a deeper emotional issue, I think this series is a perfect introduction on how to get in touch with those feelings and to know that you are not alone. On second thought, this show is on Netflix and since we all know one can spend hours just scrolling through the menu, this could be dangerous if you’re actually trying to accomplish something. Proceed with caution! Or better yet, check out one of Marie Kondo's books from our catalog!
Eat That Frog
This is supposed to be a great book on freeing yourself from procrastination and increasing your productivity. The title comes from an old saying, "If the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day." It’s so crazy that it just might work for one of you out there.
And since we are in the digital age, consider asking your phone for help. 135 is an program (works on any device, right in your browser) that will help you prioritize and not be so overwhelmed. It asks you to pick one big task, three medium tasks, and five small tasks that you need to finish. Rearrange as needed and complete each list in whatever order you want. It’s supposed to work. I haven’t gotten around to downloading it yet though, so what do I know?
Best of luck, procrastinators far and wide—you can do it!