The excitement you feel when you finally have the opportunity to prove all that you are capable of. In the beginning, you are so proud about all that you can accomplish once everything is finally complete. Slowly, something starts to change. You are distracted by anything that will take your mind off all that you have taken on. You tell yourself the reason you are procrastinating is that you want everything done perfectly. In reality, your fears may be starting to get the best of you.
A person who consider themselves a perfectionist strives for nothing less than excellence. The life of a perfectionist is filled with so much stress and anxiety, always questioning whether their work is good enough. The stress can become so overwhelming that you begin to develop some of the bad habits of a procrastinator such as lack of focus and delaying getting started.
If you consider yourself to be a perfectionist ask yourself, how will postponing getting started to determine how good your work will be? What does it really mean to be perfect? And who decides what’s perfect?
Many perfectionists would prefer to do nothing rather than to feel like a failure. It is that uncontrollable urge not to disappoint, not just yourself but those who might judge. That overwhelming need to be “perfect” will make you start to over think the process. You know that you need to get started, but you find relief in distractions that will take your mind off what you need to be doing. You will begin to allow your fears and any negative thoughts to dictate how you approach any project.
If you question whether you are a procrastinator disguised as a perfectionist, see if you can relate to the following signs:
Begin to lose focus
Instead of focusing on what you need to get done, you are watching television, constantly scrolling through your phone, or surfing the web.
Find non-related task to do
You will use any excuse not to work on your project. You may start to organize some files, completing other tasks, or help others with projects they are working on.
Question your own abilities
You are constantly over analyzing your capabilities in your mind. Will it be good enough? Am I going in the direction? Did I give enough information?
Put things off until the next day
If you want to change the habit of being a procrastinator, the time to start is now. Stop putting things off until tomorrow and start today. The more you put things off, the more like you won’t do them at all.
If you can relate to any of these signs you are definitely a procrastinator. Now, that doesn’t mean you are not a perfectionist. The truth is a perfectionist and procrastinator can be hard to tell apart. Some even believe that perfectionism is the cause of procrastination. Stressing whether your work or anything you do will be good enough will prevent you from moving forward.
When you notice that you are starting to procrastinate, here are some steps that will stop you dead in your tracks:
Sometimes getting started can be tough and you are easily distracted. If this is something you want to do you must eliminate all distractions: silence your phone, avoid surfing the internet for things not related to your work and make sure you have all materials needed.
Stop over thinking the process
Your need to procrastinate comes from stressing over whether your work will be good enough. Don’t focus on the completed project that may leave you a bit overwhelmed. Take one step at a time and focus on what you are doing, allow the process to progress naturally. Each step will bring you closer to a completed project that you can be proud of.
Remember you can only do your best
You cannot worry what other people may think. No matter how long you put things off, it is not going to change your abilities. You must always believe in yourself and the skills you possess.
“The search for the perfect venture can turn into procrastination. Your idea may or may not have merit. The key is to get started.” ~Unknown