You know the feeling. There’s something you’ve got to do. It’s not life or death, but it’s important. Maybe it’s getting your tax documents together. Maybe it’s a yard work chore you really should accomplish, or a family member you really should call. It’s just so easy to put off any of these things, maybe just for one more day. And that day suddenly becomes a week, then a month, and each time you think of the task, you get anxious. You start punishing yourself for your delay and avoidance. You tell yourself, it’s ok to wait a little longer - you’re not going to do it until you’re sure you can do it PERFECTLY, after ALL the prep work is done. But then you put that off as well!
Bottom line, you are procrastinating, and often this is sign of perfectionism - the incapacitating feeling that you cannot tackle a task until you know it’s going to come out perfectly. Sound familiar? Why do we do about this?
Procrastination is a symptom of perfectionism. This feeling stems from shame and one of our greatest fears (other than the fear of death) - fear of rejection, or disconnection from our “group”. And this fear can be crippling, even paralyzing, making it even harder to get things done. Procrastination and perfectionism is indeed a slippery slope. So what do we do?
Here’s a trick: make list of the things you need to accomplish in the next day, the next week, and even the next month or year. Then look down the list for something you honestly think you could accomplish in two minutes. And do it! This will give you confidence, as well as a surge of serotonin that allows you, despite the fear, to move on down your list, eventually getting everything done. Realize that even if you don’t accomplish something to your satisfaction, the world doesn’t end, and you are still loved and connected to those you love. Journaling can be a great way to be more mindful of your fears and sources of procrastination. And it can help you to realize you are ENOUGH, without having to be perfect 100% of the time. This is a rational cognitive approach to procrastination and it works. If you’d like to explore these issues more deeply, a health coach might be able to help you. Visit MONACO Wellness, sign up for the monthly newsletter and make an appointment for a free consultation. Today, have a productive day!!
Dr. John Monaco
Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach