We have all been there. We stare at a blank sheet of paper, or a pile of items we need to sort through, or a blinking cursor on the monitor in front of us. And there we sit. Doing nothing. Or we tell ourselves we will do the task later., When we feel more like it. Because that will ever happen. That being felt like doping it. Like some giant leap of motivation will envelop us and the next thing we know, everything we have put off will start getting done.

Why do we procrastinate?

Clearly, procrastinating is not something we can think of as being beneficial. Putting something off which we need to do is not usually a good thing. Unless you put off cutting the grass, and then as luck would have it there is lightening strike right in your yard which would have zapped you to a pile of ashes had you been in the yard. But you were inside the house safely sharpening all the pencils you could find just so you could tell yourself, hey I’m doing something productive!

Some reasons we procrastinate:

We procrastinate because we fear failure. And if we do nothing well then, we cannot fail.

We procrastinate because we feel we are not good enough to complete the task. We are imposters.

We procrastinate because maybe tomorrow will be a better day to tackle that pile of items we have been meaning to go through. Because tomorrow is not today.

We procrastinate because we are perfectionist.

What does being a perfectionist have to do with procrastinating? Perfectionist procrastinate to avoid failure. The way the thinking goes, if you put something off long enough, then you can delay the potential (but not likely) negative results.

“Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.

~ Brené Brown

This is just the beginning. We can add more to why we procrastinate, and also what we can do to stop procrastinating.

Remember. It’s the journey not the destination.

Be Specific

Going back to the idea of goals and what you (or I) would do if you knew you would not fail, I think where I and maybe you become tripped up is, we are not specific enough.

I always like to joke and tell people that when I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury years ago, I had been asking for some time off, a new hairstyle and to lose weight. I should have been specific in my request and stated – but not at the expense of a life threatening injury. Right?

When I went to college I knew I wanted to earn my degree, That was a goal I had in mind. But to get to that goal I had to pass certain classes. And in order to pass those classes I had to complete assignments. And in order to complete those assignments sometimes I had to do research and that could mean going to the library or otherwise gathering information.

You see how this works out right?

We can set goals for what we want to achieve for ourselves, but if we don’t break down the steps and concentrate on the beginning, on the details, we are highly unlikely to achieve those goals.

And I want all of us to achieve our goals.

Not really off topic but, I am currently reading, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by: James Clear.

I am actually listening to the book on Audible. Atomic Habits is likely one of the best books I have encountered in my lifetime. Check it out and see for your self.

I plan on writing more about the book, how it is resonating with me, and my progress implementing the steps outlined in the book at a later date.

And remember, It’s a Journey not a destination.