Even the most successful and regimented of us have fallen to its seemingly inescapable force. Procrastination is quite common and can adversely affect one’s life in a plethora of dimensions. Unfortunately, there is no drug for procrastination nor is it recognized by any insurance company. Where then does procrastination come from and how do we combat such a powerful foe? Two of the world’s leading experts on procrastination, Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D. and Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D. estimate that 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. According to them, procrastinators fall into three major categories:
1. Avoidant procrastinators - Those in this category usually harbor a fear of failure (and in some cases success) - These procrastinators would rather have people think they lack effort rather than ability
2. Thrill seeker procrastinators - Those in this category get a “rush” from waiting to the last moment in order to triumph over a very difficult predicament
3. Decisional procrastinators - Those in this group cannot make decisions and/or feel like not making a decision absolves them from responsibility
Whatever category of procrastination you fall in, there are ways to minimize your procrastination tendencies besides buying a planner. Buying a planner just makes a procrastinator more efficient at procrastinating. Taking steps to getting past procrastination involves restructuring how one typically views a task, setting a goal of taking the first step in a task as opposed to trying to take the perfect first step in a task, anticipating obstacles, and enduring the discomfort that usually prevents completion of a task as opposed to running away from it.