Procrastination is something clients tell me they struggle with often which makes sense given that it’s a common symptom of depression, anxiety and perfectionism. I listened to an interview recently with Monica Ramirez Basco who wrote the book, The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done. She says everyone procrastinates, it’s a matter of how much, how often, and to what extent it effects your life negatively. There are six types and knowing which you are can go a long way in helping you to make changes:
The avoidant type avoids things because they think it’s going to be unpleasant or uncomfortable.
The disorganized type is bad with time management so they run out of time, or they get overwhelmed because they have too much to do and too little time to do it in.
The self-doubting type doesn’t trust herself/himself to make good decisions. They get stuck in self doubt about small things, choosing a paint color or a restaurant or big things such as whether they should leave jobs, move or end a relationship. They struggle with what the right choice is; whether it will be any better if they change…
The interpersonal type has to do with procrastination and relationships. It can be used as a weapon when you feel like something is being demanded of you and you don’t want to be told what to do. Or you use procrastination to get others to do things for you. If your experience is that someone else will do it if you don’t you out wait the other person. It can also be a way to protect oneself from criticism. You avoid disapproval from others if you do nothing.
The all-or-nothing type is the perfectionist who’s either in 100 percent or they feel overwhelmed and exhausted and do nothing. This group can also be those who can’t say no. They reach a point of exhaustion and can’t do anything else or take on anymore until they recharge. Then they dive back in at 100%, overcommitting until they hit exhaustion again.
The pleasure seekers are those who do other things they enjoy more. They’re not in the mood to do chores or other less interesting things. This is okay unless they stop dealing with the other things. They might get hooked on computer or video games or television shows or things that can become addictive. In this day and age there are lots of things available like this between Smartphones, posting on Facebook or Google+ (or reading others posts), or looking up something on the internet that leads to something else until lots of time has passed.
Recognizing when you’re procrastinating is the first step to changing. Knowing what’s causing you to procrastinate may help you to identify a way to move forward. Pick something specific you want to change within all the ways you may procrastinate and a way to measure it so you can tell if things are changing. This last piece will allow you to see if what you’re doing is working.
Remember that changes takes time so measure small ways you’ve changed to give you momentum to keep going.