On Procrastination

Updated: Jan 14

“I love deadlines, I like to wave at them as they pass by.”

To be completely honest, I procrastinated this month’s edition on procrastination.

Hypocritical? Maybe. But, at least I am honest?

For me in my life, procrastination looks like a form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) - where I cannot remain focused on one thing at a time. I will write down my to-do list for the day, look at it, and purposefully skip over the ones I know are going to be harder to check off. Then, the end of the day comes and there on my list remains my unchecked tasks staring at me in the face.

And, this is when I leave for the day.

For some of my clients, they describe their procrastination in the form of “laziness,” in which

they feel as though the overwhelm of having things to do paralyzes them into watching that 8th episode of Friends - as if they haven’t seen the series four times.

They trick their mind (with the help of their favorite streaming service) into believing that it’ll get done and they are enjoying their “self-care.”

This alternative to the “treat-yo-self” epidemic of spending money seems more fair when their inner dialogue says “just one more episode.”

Through my lens, there seems to be two different categories in which my situations play out;

ones that are “easy” and ones that need to be “handled”. I started to believe my issue was that I could not (for the life of me) remain on task for the ones that needed to be “handled”.

I would do EVERYTHING else and for the time I was working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these avoidant behaviors were amplified. However, I recently stumbled upon an article written by Charlotte Lieberman and highlighted by Adam Grant, a fellow Organizational Psychologist, in which the title read “Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing To Do With Self Control)”.

She opens her article with the words,

“If you’ve ever put off an important task by, say, alphabetizing your spice drawer, you know it wouldn’t be fair to describe yourself as lazy.”