I’ll be honest—I’m a total procrastinator. If I can delay doing something, you bet I will.
There are six types of procrastination that many of us fall into. But here’s the kicker—most of them are just excuses we tell ourselves to feel okay about not being productive and not chasing our dreams. It’s usually because we’re afraid of either succeeding or failing, and it’s not really for the reasons we might initially believe.
Many of us create problems for ourselves by predicting a bad outcome from the start. Like when we say we work better at the last minute—it’s a bit of an excuse and a way of causing unnecessary chaos. And let’s be real, this whole drama doesn’t usually lead to the best results. Even if you somehow manage to pull off a good performance, the stress you’re piling on will eventually burn you out.
When you catch yourself in this loop, just dive in and start. Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s pretty neat. You start working for 25 minutes, then take a short break. After three or four of these cycles, you treat yourself to a longer break. The key is to just get going, especially when you find yourself overthinking. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel once it’s done.
Having dreams is important when you’re planning and setting goals. But here’s the thing—when it comes to being productive, dreaming alone won’t cut it. It’s all about action. Yes, go ahead and imagine that big goal you’re aiming for. But remember, you’ve got to ground it by putting in the effort to map out the steps and resources needed to make it happen.
Here’s a cool trick—combine your dreams with SMART or SMARTER goal setting. That’s like the magic combo to ensure you’re heading in the right direction. When you turn your dreams into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, and maybe even throw in some evaluation and readjustment, you’re setting yourself up for success. It’s about turning those dreams into a daily hustle, shifting from a dreamer to a full-on doer.
For some folks, the issue is straightforward: they’re trying to juggle too much without setting any limits. If you’re the type who can’t seem to say no and your workload just keeps piling up to insane levels, you’re cruising towards that point where overwhelm takes over and you end up stuck.
To get out of this loop, learn to master the art of setting boundaries. Say yes with a purpose and don’t hesitate to say no when you need to. Remember, you’ve got the right to decline without guilt weighing you down. You’re the boss of your time, and you know how much you can realistically handle.
Time for a reality check, especially if you’re stuck thinking that everything you do has to be perfect. Perfection is a unicorn—it doesn’t exist. It’s cool to have high standards, but trust me, you don’t want to be lost in some imaginary world where things can’t go wrong.
Aiming high is great, mistakes happen, and people are beautifully imperfect. The next time you spot a hiccup in your performance, take a step back and ask yourself if you’re keeping it real. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection paralyze you. Because if you do, nothing will get done, accomplishments will stay on the backburner, and those goals you’re aiming for will remain out of reach.
For some of us procrastinators, this whole deal goes back to our childhood. It’s like this aversion to rules and expectations. Some folks do this sneaky passive-aggressive thing to defy authority, (my hand is raised) while others just straight-up rebel against any kind of schedule or plan.
It’s not a great path to walk. At the end of the day, we’ve all got to own up to our responsibilities. So, here’s a tip: break down your goals into doable short-term bits and realistic long-term plans. That way, each day you can tackle the basics needed to edge closer to those goals.
Anxiety can creep in and mess up decision-making, pushing us right into the arms of procrastination. If you’re a worrier, you need to sort out what’s legit and what’s just in your head. Imagine you’re aiming to shed a few pounds—setting a goal to drop ten pounds a week is just not gonna fly. It’s unrealistic, so why bother setting that goal in the first place?
Make sure your goals are rooted in reality. When you let fear of being wrong or unwillingness to take risks hold you back, you’re leaving the decision-making up to chance.
You can conquer these six types of procrastination. None of them are doing you any favors—neither your goals nor the folks around you benefit from it. The trick is to design your schedule with some breathing room, giving yourself ample breaks and the right amount of time to complete tasks properly. Once you’ve got that rhythm going, the whole procrastination game becomes a thing of the past.
*** Need more self-care tips including info on incorporating more laughter into your day, head on over to A Cup of Positivity on Facebook join the discussion.
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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂
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