Michelle here, and I’m writing this today with a tremendous sense of relief. I really feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I want to tell you why.
My hope is that you can spare yourself the misery I endured and overcome your procrastination before it inflicts the toll on you that it did on me. Even though I’ve come out the other side a much happier and, frankly, better person, the journey to get here was one I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I was a procrastinator since as far back as I can remember. In grade school, my teachers warned me that my habit of waiting till the last minute to complete assignments would come back to bite me someday. Needless to say, their advice went in one ear and out the other.
This continued through college, but I was still able to graduate without too much stress. Of course, I had to pull a few all-nighters, but that was just part of being a college student as far as I knew. Besides, if I screwed up, I was the only one who would be hurt. Well, that all changed once I started a family.
What a difference responsibility makes? In the past, when I squeaked out an project or made something else happen despite my procrastination, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Hey, I did it!
But when my procrastination started directly affecting my family, that sense of getting one over on the world turned to a pervasive feeling of dread.
All of a sudden, my procrastination was making life more difficult for my loved ones. Waiting to the last minute to book doctor’s appointments for the kids meant they weren’t getting the best care they could.
Being late paying bills drove my husband up the wall and caused no end of headaches as we tried to figure out our finances.
All the while, I knew that if I could only get ahead of things instead of constantly playing from behind, everything would be so much easier and my family would be better off.
But I simply couldn’t.
And as my procrastination continued to cause my family hardship, I spiraled down into deeper and deeper depression and anxiety. Not only did I feel like a failure for causing all this, my day-to-day mood grew darker and darker.
I was not a pleasant person to be around.
Of course, my kids picked up on this, and they would go out of their way to interact with my husband rather than me. That in turn made me feel like a pathetic excuse for a parent and a human being.
As I watched my kids grow up without participating in their lives, cheering on their successes and helping them up when they stumbled, my marriage was on the brink of collapse. My husband simply couldn’t do it all – especially when he had to spend his time and energy propping me up as well.
So, he gave me an ultimatum. Fix this, or else.
He knew that was the only way to get through to me.
He helped me find a therapist to try to find the cause of my procrastination and all the mental anguish that went along with it.
But that proved to be easier said than done.
While my therapist was able to help me document how my procrastination related to my depression, changing my behavior was a different story.
The first thing she tried, of course, was a regimen of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs. Six months of that, and I felt even more disconnected from the world around me and ambivalent about life. Worse, procrastination continued to be the way I dealt with just about everything. I wanted off the drugs, but my husband and therapist were reluctant to do that without something to replace them.
Then, one morning, my husband called me over and showed me a website. It asked probing questions regarding the nature of my procrastination and how it made me feel, and he convinced me to answer them honestly.
Based on my answers, the system, guided by psychologists and wellness professionals, created a customized three-month plan that it claimed would allow me to overcome my procrastination.
My husband and I were both skeptical – after all, nothing else had worked to that point.
But for that very reason, and the fact that they were offering a significant discount which made the program considerably cheaper than therapy, we decided to give it a go.
I’m not going to sit here and say that things changed overnight. They didn’t. Although, in the grand scheme of things, the month it took for me to start seeing results was a drop in the bucket compared to the months of stagnation before that and years of banging my head against the wall before that.
But the results did come, and my entire outlook on life changed.
What this program did, essentially was rewire my daily routine so that procrastination wasn’t even something I thought of. It simply made no sense to wait to do something when I could do it right then.
That complete sea change of perspective was what broke me free of procrastination, and as I began to take a proactive approach to my life, my self-esteem began to grow as well. I no longer felt like a failure; I no longer felt like someone who no one wanted to be around.
And that has made all the difference in my life as a mother, and professional.
Finally, I feel like I’m not constantly playing catch-up, and I hope never to feel that way again.
And to think, it all started with a simple quiz!
Click below to take the Virtue Map initial quiz, and your custom-designed plan will be ready in a matter of minutes.
After that, it’s only a matter of choosing to give it a whirl.
After all, if you’re in a situation like mine, there’s so much to gain and so little to lose by trying.
Best of luck on your journey!