We also tend to procrastinate, whether we like it or not, whether we protect ourselves. The difficulty is not in procrastination itself. Rather in our ability to slow down, or even stop, our natural tendency to procrastinate.
Indeed, does this behavior that tends to postpone what some think we could do the same day express something? A hidden problem? How to identify behaviors that are procrastinating and justify depressive symptoms? Is it okay to procrastinate? When to worry about too much procrastination How to deal with procrastination? So many questions that this article will try to answer.
Can you, yes or no, afford to postpone what you are ordering yourself to do that day? By what, or by whom, should you view your so-called procrastination as a problem? Based on what symptoms, can you say you are procrastinating? Why consider procrastination as an advantage?
All these questions are the subject of answers which, I have no doubt, may surprise you. But isn’t this the best way to move forward than to generate doubt?
Definition of procrastination
The word procrastination, or the verb procrastinate, is a word that comes from Latin and means “to put off until tomorrow”. If we stuck to this simple definition to not write simplistically, things might be easier. Procrastination is more than that.
I keep in mind the problem of one of my patients. Let’s call him Alexander. This young man, intelligent and full of humor, is a student at Sciences Po. Paris. In the final year, he has to take part-time exams and revise his end-of-year exam. Which exam, if he passes, will offer him consecration. Graduate from the IEP ( Institute of Political Studies ). Yes, but here it is.
Alexandre may be intelligent, cultivated, and all and all, but he has an annoying tendency to revise only when forced and forced. He always does it the day before for the next day. Therefore, he cannot organize his revisions to arrive more relaxed at the exams. Are these the premises of procrastination?
Alexander spends his time thinking about how he should work. He oscillates between his sofa, the television, his desk, the materials he uses. One after the other. And without being able to concentrate or do the work that seems reasonable to him, this student is going all over the place. Walks away. Come back. Exhausted finding solutions. As time goes by, dull anguish appears. The same anguish that reminds him that time flies. That, presumably, the objectives are far from being met. Behavior and consequences are quite typical of procrastination.
Procrastination: The Dictatorship of Doing Good
So our student goes back to work. He has anguish screwed to his stomach. Obsessed by the deadline, he fires everything. Swallow pages. But don’t hold back anything. In the beginning, it was only a small problem that will become a recurring problem causing chronic anxiety.
As you have understood, the more courageously Alexander tries to organize himself, the less he can do it. The more time passes, the worse it gets. Growing then are his anguishes. Why is it like that for this young man, like for you?
We all receive an education. This is based on the obligation to manage all areas of our life. We must, and it is required of us, to control, with measure and efficiency, all that concerns us. Thus, we must know how to answer for everything. To be more excellent than just good. And worry about being better than the last time.
Society, or more accurately, the system we operate, demands that we be the most up-to-date, what we mean to others. And also the benefits that the system can derive from us. It is about exploiting ourselves. To be as profitable as possible. You have to take advantage of everything. We must do well. We must be well. Point!
We are sailing there amid a dictatorship of know-how. And knowing how to be. A bit like those dictators of well-being and personal development about to force us to be well, to be happy.
Procrastination: is it a real problem?
It is therefore accepted that we do not dare to allow ourselves to step out of the ranks. Thus, procrastinating takes on a guilty character. We are ashamed of not knowing how to behave appropriately. Are you letting go of your hold on yourself? Or choose to let go? Immediately, as in a reflex that can not be conditioned anymore, you feel like a fear mingled with a guilty pleasure.
The question, therefore, arises as to what your procrastination is expressing itself. And depending on what as depending on whom.
I remember a young woman, a medical student, literally panicked because she had a clear tendency to procrastinate. She had tried to force herself to organize more than she already was. To force oneself to work at such and such a time. One subject after another. She got up early. Going to bed late. Year in and year out, she spent a lot of the afternoon strolling. To read magazines, or watch television series. She felt helpless to fight her procrastination.
The exams were coming. This student realized how much she had to revise. So she anticipated her failure to come. She was going through bouts of tears. Of panic attacks. Tried everything not to procrastinate. While letting his procrastination set in a little more each day.
So I asked this future doctor what the problem was. The latter lay in these successive years, the imperative need to satisfy each partial. Above all, do not take any risk of being dumped (Dixit). The idea of transplanting a year was unbearable. And yet.
Symptoms of procrastination
Was his procrastination the result of a lack of desire to succeed? To meet its objectives? Was his procrastination based on too much demand for himself? Was his procrastination related to the gaze of others?
Was this procrastination associated with the fear of succeeding or the fear of failing? Without a doubt, all of this at the same time. Augmented little things are specific to each of us. Our life stories. Self-image. Self-confidence. To name just these elements. Without forgetting, of course, the fear of being judged.
Understandably, procrastination is a problem. Especially when you don’t meet your goals. But, does the fact of putting everything off until the next day, even the following days, or even… never rest on something simple? The way you set your goals? Or your requirements for success?
One way to discover the signs of decay is by trying your hand more critically. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
- Anxiety disorders
- Difficulty or even inability to prioritize
- Difficulties in drawing up and respecting a schedule (organization, planning)
- Difficulty of organization
- Fear of failing
- Fear of success
- Fatigue or even exhaustion
- Lack of self-confidence
- Sleep disturbances (falling asleep, sleep disturbances)
- Depressive disorders (in some cases)
- Panic attack
None of these procrastination-related symptoms should be taken lightly. It is too easy to impose on people who are in procrastination “… that they just have to organize…”. “That it is a question of will…”. If they could, they would gladly do so. And if that is easier said than done, then the problem with procrastination lies elsewhere.
Procrastinating is not innocent
One of the first symptoms of procrastination is a failure to organize. By dint of repeated failures, you end up giving up everything. From then on, anger and anguish assail you. Questions like your fears about the consequences of your procrastination and your inability to deal with the situation enrich your problem.
You deploy a wealth of inventiveness to eradicate the problem. The further you do, the wiser the commitments you make, the greater the distance you get from your target. A bit like an alcoholic patient who says: “Tomorrow, I’ll stop”. And who, the next day resists and then drinks more.
When you’re a victim of procrastination, don’t try to push it too hard. Never forget. You are a victim! Not guilty! The more you resist your lack of desire, the more your suffering will grow. Instead, try to accept that it is like that today. I already hear some people tell me that the following days are identical to the first, if not even worse. Therefore, it is the proof that it is indeed your desire to be and to do that you must find again.
Eliminate the loss of sense of what you have to do. Find the meaning of what you think is appropriate to do. So many elements, even symptoms, about which, I find, little is said.
Acting in such a way as to progress no longer makes sense at a precise moment? The more time passes, the less you can identify the meaning – the interest associated with the pleasure – of what you do? So yes, I can confirm it for you. You are the victim of a classic symptom that forces you to endure procrastination. There is no need to look for a quick fix. She does not exist. Perhaps it is more time to seek the advantage of procrastinating?
Causes of procrastination
Remember our student from Sciences Po. Paris. It quickly turned out that he is the son of intellectuals who studied and worked a lot. These parents, teachers have always worked to be aware of their professional practices. Alexandre always realized how much his parents were involved. He has always remembered this family maxim: “We have nothing without nothing”. Not false. But is this true for all that?
Alexandre would like to make this point of view his own. Except that he has a lot of trouble accepting that he finds it very easy to succeed without doing much. Or, at least, without a significant investment. This young man is ashamed and guilty about it. He does not accept having both intellectual and neurological facilities. Therefore, he decided to work according to a method that seemed to correspond to what had been taught to him. The same he observed with his parents.
Except that, if this method is good for some people, it is not suitable for him. It doesn’t match his personality. Is it out of a feeling of guilt that he unconsciously works on his procrastination?
Subconsciously, Alexandre makes resistance to his personality. He doesn’t love himself. Even, can be very angry with him. He does not consider himself legitimate. Moreover, he ends up agreeing that he blames himself for noting, deep down, that he has more facilities than many others.
How to fight procrastination
A business is made up of women and men. Which, throughout their working day, ignore these same emotions to meet their roadmap. To their employment contract. Often to the detriment of their well-being. But all too frequently, employees dig their graves and buy the shovel to do so. But this is another story.
Don’t fall for the trap. Do not mix up a socio-professional environment and an emotional environment. Try not to be in denial of yourself. Nor of your emotional reality.
Don’t we say that there are days with and days without? Yes? So be nice. Do you forgive yourself because who better than yourself can be compassionate towards you?
Is procrastination an aesthetic thing of life? If you don’t mind, procrastination can have huge benefits like fostering a creative or… recreational moment. Think about it! Save yourself a few mistakes.
Stop procrastinating: Stop hurting yourself
When it comes to procrastination, the first mistake you shouldn’t make is wanting to insist. To force yourself to do things that naturally you can’t do. Since procrastination is part of a particular equation (self-image + desire + fear of failing + fear of success + self-confidence + anxieties or anxiety disorder) as a problem linked to one’s organization, it is better to act in the same way next:
- Lay the foundations of a daily organization
- The schedule should only concern the current week
- Each WE, make the schedule for the following week
- When you can’t do something, move on to the next task according to your weekly schedule
- Don’t look for the will to do
- Let the desire to make catch you
If a task is not completed one morning (for example), try to tackle it in the afternoon of the same day or even the next day.
Faced with a procrastination problem, the interest is not to force yourself to get there. The more you react in this way, the less you will get there. The more you insist, the more you run the risk of becoming a victim of anxiety or even chronic anxiety. And, therefore, of procrastination.
Psychiatrists at Kentucky Mental Health Care are aware that treatment efficacy varies from patient to patient. Efficient outpatient recovery services rely heavily on effective Medication Therapy Management.