It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. But why are we content to leave (hard) tasks hanging? After all, it just puts us under more pressure and a more concentrated and agonising period of torture, doesn’t it?
Well, here are some reasons.
Ready to see which ones you identify with?
1. You secretly like the rush
I must admit I was one of these people. I would leave things to the last minute and get my adrenalin pumping as I raced to finish my work before a deadline. It would give me a buzz! Sometimes I would have to pull all-nighters, and one particular time, I somehow managed to get through 3 days of gruelling work on a total of seven hours sleep (I paid the price for it though – I was extremely ill and felt like a zombie for a few days afterwards!). Some of my best work has been created under pressure since it helps me to get in the zone and keep focused. While it’s okay if you are in control, it can quickly descend into chaos if you realise that Father Time will emerge victorious rather than yourself. The nail-biting scenario of your submission versus your deadline with both sides vying for supremacy, is just too stressful to make it a complete habit. Your high might just turn horrid!
2. You would rather believe yourself as lazy than face the fear of lacking ability
It can be scary testing your boundaries. But testing your boundaries and pushing them help you to grow as a person. Perceiving yourself or getting others to perceive you as lazy, can get you out of a task, but it won’t help you address the question of whether you lack the ability or not.
3. You are unable to make decisions
You are extremely indecisive. You cannot just start because you don’t know how you will approach the issue. In some cases, you might even hope that your indecision will result in someone relieving you from the dreaded responsibility.
4. You don’t want the pain and hassle that goes with it.
Most people don’t like pain and discomfort. We are just wired that way. So we put things off to stay in our happy place and keep the nasty things at bay for as long as possible.
5. You are scared of potential success
This can be quite common. You can feel apprehensive about how a successful performance can potentially transform your life for the better. The notion just petrifies you!
6. You lack discipline
It can seem too hard to just sit yourself down and get on with things, not when there are so many appealing and enjoyable things to do. Even taking out the bins would prove a welcome distraction!
7. You are over-optimistic with the time commitment
I’m guilty of this, but in relation to cooking, which annoys my sister very much. I might start quite late (around half past six) trying out new recipes, thinking preparation and cooking time might take 45 mins tops. Three hours later (like today) I’m still going (and fed up!), finally serving up a beautiful and delicious creation to hungry and disgruntled diners.
8. You want to remain in your comfort zone
Doing a task such as the one you are faced with, is alien territory to you and will lead you into your own murky unknown. You prefer familiarity, staying away from activities that drift you in unchartered waters.
9. You find the task too boring
Granted, some tasks we are required to do are mind-numbingly dull and are incapable of arousing an ounce of enthusiasm. Watching paint dry would be more pleasurable!
10. You’re not in in the ‘mood’
Sometimes to do our best work, we feel like with have to be in the ‘mood’. But when are you really in the ‘mood’ to do anything you usually dislike? If there is never a time that you are in that perfect state of mind, you’ll have to start it anyway.
11. The task seems far too big
Some tasks that we are required to undertake are of such a gargantuan size, that you feel intimidated, not knowing where to start. How could you possibly complete it?
12. You are a perfectionist
You haven’t started because everything has to be just right. Even the stars and planets must be aligned before you even consider getting down to the nitty-gritty.
So, which do you identify with? I’d love to know! Feel free to leave your comments below.