Procrastination is a hard habit to shake. I’ve dealt with it in some form or another for my whole life. Sometimes it is worse than others; sometimes it doesn’t exist. It permeates not only my writing life, but through much in life in general.
In part it is a failure of my own abilities to prioritize within my own life. Or, it exists where priorities counter to my wishes and desires. In either scenario, I end up seeking out other ways to entertain myself while leaving the tasks that I need to accomplish somewhere over there on that dusty bookshelf where no one ever looks. All the while, there is a part of me that is keenly aware of the loads of stress that I will be adding to future me’s life. It’s stressful in the moment too. It will be more stressful later however, as I will end up dealing with the repercussions of my choices to avoid responsibility.
Responsibility is a key word here too. Procrastination is a form of responsibility avoidance. Said responsibility might not be critical, or even important. They are still responsibilities though.
As individuals, we should be striving to rise and meet our responsibilities. But is it just that we are simply trying to avoid them or is there something else going on?
Anxiety is the answer here. More often than not, my desire to get away from a responsibility or a task is that said thing is bringing me anxiety. Even writing, that wonderful task that is equally anxiety reducing, is a task that I find myself trying to avoid because of how anxious it is making me feel.
Sources can be plentiful. A lot of it can be that syndrome of feeling like an imposter. It touches on what I had written before about the fact that many… really most of us don’t have any idea of what we are doing. Yet, our perspective is that everyone else has it together. Concurrently, procrastination is an avoidance of completing a task that might prove our own sense of being an imposter.
How do I avoid it then? How have I been combating it?
To start, not well. Like I said, it is difficult to get over something that is so ingrained in my psyche. Avoidance is a personality trait I’ve had to deal with for a long time. Learning where this comes from though has helped a great deal. I procrastinate because I am often unsure of the best choices to make, and in avoiding a decision, I’ve made a decision. Seeing this, I’ve learned to break tasks down to areas that I at least have confidence that I can handle. It’s helped.
No one solution is likely to stand out to me, rather I will likely have to eat this elephant in small bites until I can be rid of it.
But will I be rid of it? Likely no. But managing it to make it appear like it doesn’t exist might be the best option.