What’s up, you procrastinating genius! If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve been procrastinating on the task at hand.
Laura here, and I was a chronic procrastinator. The worst kind of a chronic procrastinator, in fact. One who knew she was a chronic procrastinator and couldn’t do anything about it.
My life was a never-ending cycle of self-inflicted stress, and yet I just couldn’t seem to snap out of it.
The thing about me was that I couldn’t stand doing something unless I had given it my full attention. Sure, I would start things early, but then the second something more interesting came along, my mind went “ohhhh you can do this later.”
“Later” never came, though—only the stress induced by the fear of not getting things done.
You’d think that would be enough to spur me into action, but nooooope! It turned out that even being stressed out wasn’t enough to get me to actually do things I needed to do.
So instead, I was stuck living in a perpetual state of anxiety over all the things I hadn’t started yet.
It was… not great.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been there before: you get that project assigned, and you want to start it RIGHT AWAY.
But then… something comes up—maybe there’s a new episode of our favorite show on TV, or maybe we just need to scroll through Instagram for a minute—and then before you know it, you’ve spent hours doing something else instead.
So why does this happen? Well, honestly, it happens for many different reasons. Some people procrastinate because the task at hand feels overwhelming, some people procrastinate when they’re stressed out about something else in their lives, and other people procrastinate when they feel a lack of control over the outcome of their work or responsibilities.
And while procrastination can sometimes be attributed to feeling overwhelmed or stressed out in general, it also has a lot to do with your personality traits. If you have a tendency toward perfectionism or are highly conscientious but not as organized as you’d like to be (aka disorganized perfectionist), then that could contribute to your tendency toward procrastination.
Don’t worry though! You can overcome your procrastination problem, just like I did
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It was the only thing that made me feel truly happy.
When I tell people this, they often ask me, “What have you written?” And I always say the same thing: “Not enough.”
You see, I had a major writing block. When I was a kid, I would write stories like crazy. They were bad, of course; What do you expect from a kid? But it didn’t matter to me. The fact that I was making something that didn’t exist before—something where I was creating characters and a world and weaving them together into an exciting narrative—made me so happy.
Then something changed.
I was always a procrastinator, but as I grew older and got more responsibilities, this harmful habit became unbearable, causing me even more problems.
I would put off doing laundry for weeks and then be mad when I had nothing clean to wear.
I would put off grocery shopping, and then have to eat whatever was in my freezer, which is where I keep all the frozen pizzas.
Maybe I was simply unhappy because I focused on my career as an interior designer and stopped writing entirely.
Once I had a big project, and instead of working on it step by step, I procrastinated to the point where I had to complete it the night before it was due. I pulled an all-nighter, turn the project in, then went home and slept for 16 hours straight.
I wasn’t happy with myself. Not only did I not feel proud of what I’d produced—it felt incomplete and hastily done—but I also felt like a lazy slob for waiting so long to even start working on it.
It didn’t take me long after that to realize that procrastination was not just about being lazy or a perfectionist. It was about having low self-confidence.
When you hesitate to begin things, you’re basically trying to tell yourself: “I’m scared this won’t work out well.” And while that certainly can be true, it’s also true that if you don’t start something, there’s absolutely no chance it will work out well at all!
Then it suddenly came to me that maybe that was the same exact reason why I didn’t pursue my life-long dream of becoming a writer.
But I thought it was too late for me to start over…
Things got even harder when I started a family and had kinds of my own. That’s when I really realized how much it was affecting not only my life but also my loved ones.
It wasn’t until years later when one of my sons asked me why none of my books weren’t out yet that it hit me: I’d been putting off writing for so long that the time had slipped away from me, completely
When he asked me why, I suddenly realized that there was no reason not to get started right then and there. And I wanted to, but I had no idea how to break my lifelong habit.
Luckily, I’m pretty good at recognizing my own faults, and I started looking for help to break the procrastination cycle and actually start making things happen in life.
First, my husband helped me find a therapist to try and 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 inability to act, changing my behavior was a different story.
Then, one morning, my son 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 claimed would allow me to overcome my procrastination.
To be honest, I was skeptical – but for my son’s sake, I decided to go for it.
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 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 longerr felt I was living someone else’s life.
And that has made all the difference in my life as a mother, in my career as a designer, and my lifelong dream as a passionate writer.
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!