The Five Lies of a Serial Procrastinator
It can be very easy to fall into a rut of procrastination. But it’s also easy to tell yourself you are not actually a procrastinator.
Serial procrastinators tell themselves five lies. And maybe, we all need to see if we fit into any of these five lies.
Real procrastinators overestimate the time they have left to perform a task.
How many of us in college were up at 3:00 in the morning cramming for a test the next morning?
I know I did it, and I’m sure many of you did, as well.
Or, you have a deadline at work, and you overestimate your time by rationalizing: “Oh, I’ll get to it later; in a few minutes; tomorrow; etc… .” But then things come up and before you know it, you’re not meeting your deadline.
Real procrastinators underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks.
Serial procrastinators also underestimate how long it’s actually going to take to complete a task.
Procrastinators tend to think, “Oh, that’s easy. I’ll get to it later.” But then, when they actually get down to the project, it is a lot more work than they anticipated.
Procrastinators overestimate how motivated they’re going to feel the next day, the next week, the next month, etc.
How often have you said, “Oops, I was going to start my diet. Oh, I don’t really feel like it today, because it’s Saturday and we’re going to a party. But Monday, I am going to be ready to roll.”
Or, you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel like working out, so you turn the alarm off and you say, “You know what…I’ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll have more energy.”
Real procrastinators overestimate that they are going to be feeling great the next day, but the reality is that they don’t.
And again, they just keep putting it off.
It happens in relationships, also. How many couples say they’re going to spend more time together?
Or, “You know what…tomorrow we’ll have a date night,” or, “Next week we’ll go out and spend some time together,” or, “we’ll have that one-on-one time,” but then we know that time never comes because we let life take over.
Real procrastinators mistakenly think succeeding at a task requires they feel like doing it.
So, if you’re a procrastinator, if there is a task you don’t really feel like doing, you basically rationalize why you can put it off until later.
You’re not really ever going to feel like doing something you NEED to do. That’s the point of doing it now, whether you feel like it or not.
We all get trapped in a mood or feeling where we believe we have to feel a certain way to do certain things. It’s just not true. It’s just lazy.
Real procrastinators mistakenly believe working when not in the mood is a good excuse.
They put things off by saying, “I don’t really feel like sending out those emails today.” Or they might say “I don’t really feel like following up with all the people I met at that networking event. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Well, just because you don’t really feel like it, doesn’t mean that’s a good enough reason.
Procrastinators are looking for distraction, whether we know it or not, subconsciously or consciously. We’re looking for things that can maybe pull us away from some of the things we don’t want to do.
Some of us are afraid of success. And some might have a fear of, “Oh, what if it doesn’t work,” or, “What if I don’t succeed, so I’m not even going to bother trying.”
We may be looking for these distractions, especially ones that don’t take a lot of commitment on our part. Checking email or Facebook is a perfect example of that. This way we don’t have to put forth the effort in what we must do that DOES take a lot of time, commitment and determination.
But the dirty little secret is that procrastinators distract themselves as a way of regulating their own emotions, such as that fear of failure.
What are you procrastinating at RIGHT NOW? I challenge you to put an end to the cycle and TAKE ACTION. It’s as simple as just getting started.
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