Everyone procrastinates, even the most “type A” of people. But procrastination is not always due to being lazy or being too busy. Some people procrastinate because they are perfectionists- if they can’t do a task perfectly, they won’t do it all. Some people procrastinate out of fear of facing the task- they assume the task will make them feel uncomfortable, stressed, anxious, etc., and so they avoid it. It’s this second reason I’ve been thinking about lately.
There’s many things I put off doing out of fear of the stress, anxiety, etc. that the task may cause:
I really should call _____, but it may be an awkward conversation.
I need to open 5,000 pieces of mail, but the idea of that seems overwhelming.
I need to go through all these receipts, update my budget, get cheaper insurance, fill out these financial papers- ugh…
After being an Olympic-level procrastinator for quite sometime, I’ve gotten better by realizing this:
The stress from the consequences of not doing something is usually greater than the stress of facing it.
The stress of filing 10 receipts a week is much less than the stress of going through a box of 200 receipts. The annoyance of checking your bank statement once a week for any fraudulent purchases is much less than that of putting it off and checking it every 3 months, then not remembering if that was you or not buying those burritos back in February.* Researching cheaper car insurance or phone carriers is less stressful than facing paying a rising bill each month. Finding a budget method that works for you and sticking to it is less stressful than wondering where your money went every month.
I’m still a work in progress; there’s areas that are easier for me to tackle than others. Having a list of past accomplishments helps- I can look back at all the things I have tackled in the past, and this can help motivate me to get other things done that I’m dreading. (When I’m feeling unmotivated, I remind myself that I shredded about 12 garbage bags worth of papers over a period of a few months, and I don’t want to let them pile up like that again!).
What are you procrastinating from today? What steps can you take to move forward in tackling it?
* Text alerts are a great help with tracking purchases.
(Image from pixabay.com)
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