As I type this post with just under two hours before I want to hit ‘Publish’, I can’t help but laugh at myself, and the irony of the situation. With that said, if you are here because you think I have the answers, think again. I am simply writing this as a way to stay honest with myself, and hopefully, allow others to get honest with themselves as well. So, as you read this, keep in mind that this post is just another thing that I have set out to accomplish, but something I still struggle to do ahead of time. Maybe this is my way of trying to keep alive the phrase, “Hot off the press!”, but if I am being honest, procrastination just happens to be a bad habit of mine that I have no problem keeping alive. It has been around for as long as I can remember, and very rarely do we find ourselves in sync with one another. It was not until I started asking myself why it is that I do this to myself that I was able to find some solutions to my ongoing problem.
Me & Procrastination Go Way Back
I have always preferred to work under pressure; in any kind of situation. In school, in athletics, in relationships, and in my professional career, I have always enjoyed being presented with assignments, goals, challenges, and deadlines. They give me something to work towards, and a way for me to see a finish line and run for it. What I have discovered through understanding this is that because of the pressure I have always put on myself to be a certain way, and accomplish specific things, I often used procrastination as a crutch, and a way to point blame if things didn’t work out in my favor. There have been many times that my procrastination has led me down a destructive path, because with my desire to pile on as many tasks as possible, comes the possibility of being in over my head if I am not careful. By being self-aware of my self-sabotaging tendencies, I am quicker to recognize when I am setting myself up for failure. There is only so much that we can expect from ourselves, and there is such thing as expecting too much. When I put too much on my plate at once, I ask myself what it is that I am even trying to prove and if I am doing all things for the right reasons. Make sure you aren’t putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. This realization has changed my life.
Procrastination Only Fuels My Mental Illness
Every single time I find myself avoiding something I know that I need to be doing, it is slowly but surely impacting my mental health in a negative way. I know that by giving into that voice that tells me to ‘put it off till tomorrow, and do this instead’, I will have to face the fact that I allowed procrastination to win again. This takes a toll on me. This habit of mine causes me more anxiety than necessary, and in my weakest of times, it has been an intense side effect of my depression. For those of you that may be reading this, and your levels of procrastination do not impact you in such extremes, you can still relate to the fact that this habit is frustrating to deal with. It’s frustrating because you know that you are doing it while you are doing it, and yet, it can still have more control over our desire to be accomplishing something else, or at least finish a task at an earlier time other than last minute. By actively working on my ability to make my own choices, and not feel so controlled by what I feel needs to be done, I have been able to manage my mental health much more closely, and acknowledge when my procrastination is causing too big of waves.
Go Ahead! Get Out of Your Own Way!
I believe it takes bravery to do your best and rewire the parts of you that are not making you better. It has taken me almost three years of recovery to recognize why I have always gravitated towards habits that are not good for me. Despite removing the substances that I was abusing to make life seem easier to survive, I have kept with me some habits that I would be better off without. How do I go about changing these parts of me? Well for one, I remind myself that I am proud of the work that I have done thus far, and I do my best to not look too far into the future. I sit in the moment that I have right now, and I set out to accomplish enough that will be able to fulfill my internal need to be doing something. I no longer set out to be busy, but more so just focused on being productive. Being honest about my own faults is what keeps me accountable, and aware of what I still need to be working on. I am now determined to see what all I was holding myself back from when at my unhealthiest, and take into account what I have learned if I find myself in my own way.
None of us are perfect, so let’s stop pretending to be. My anxiety to be ‘perfect’ faded away a long time ago when I made enough mistakes in life to humble me to the point of just accepting all my failures. For me, procrastination is just one of those things that I will consistently have to work on. Putting pressure on myself is ultimately my choice, and I do not have to feel bad about my choices if I choose to make better ones. Maybe you are reading this right now because you yourself are avoiding a task that you know you should be doing, or maybe you are reading this and just now discovering that procrastination is even a struggle of yours. Whatever the case may be, know that you are capable of overcoming anything if you are brave enough to get out of the way of yourself. Only we can hold ourselves back from our full potential. Now, go ahead. Get out of your own way!
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.