Procrastination – A Fascinating Phenomenon

Procrastination is the action of unconsciously, unnecessarily, and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so. The word has its origin from the Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning “forward,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow.”

Procrastination isn’t a friend. It is a silent thief that steals your precious time, energy, and happiness and you are the owner and driver. Wow! It is self-sabotage in disguise.

Learn the types of procrastination:

There are four main types of avoidance archetypes, or procrastination: the performer, the self-deprecator, the overbooker, and the novelty seeker.  Which one(s) are you?

The Performer : 

The Performed says “I work best under pressure.”

The performer believes she/he works best under pressure. The performer forces themselves to focus by shrinking the time they have to tackle a task. For many people, the real reason behind this is perfectionism. If you’re tight on time, there’s no way the task can be done to your unreasonably high standards, right? For others, the issue is simply falling back into old patterns and beliefs that people have about 11th-hour successes and saves. No matter what, however, being in the habit of putting pressure on yourself is not sustainable.

Your biggest challenge: Getting started.

Your solution: Flip the order and set a start date. When you focus on when you will begin a task — and not when you intend to end it — you’ll take a tremendous amount of pressure off of yourself.

The self-deprecator: 

The self-deprecator says, “I am so lazy right now–I don’t want to do anything.”

The self-deprecator is the opposite of lazy, so when they don’t do something they are hard on themselves.  I see this with more male clients. They blame inaction on laziness or stubbornness rather than admit they are tired or stressed. What they need is to be more compassionate with themselves throughout their lives. 

Your biggest challenge: Taking a break. And I know you are going to say you don’t have time to rest. Do you hear a mirthful laugh? If you don’t hear it now, you will hear it after you are in ICU with a heart attack or other health complications.

Your solution: Recharge. Take a 15 – 20-minute walk or rest to give yourself space to begin to rebuild your energy. 

The overbooker  

The overbooker says, “I’m so busy.” They are a pro at filling up their calendar and often feel overwhelmed. “I’m so busy” is the excuse I hear most often. Interestingly, some of the busiest people I work with get the most done. When busyness is an excuse for not doing something, it’s usually an indication of avoidance. Rather than facing a challenge head-on or admitting one doesn’t want to do something, it’s easier to place the blame on having other important things to do. 

Your biggest challenge: Creating chaos to avoid facing what you know you need to face right now (typically this is not a task).

Your solution: Take a moment of introspection. Ask yourself: What am I avoiding? What am I afraid of? Who do I want to defy? Who do I want to sabotage?

The novelty seeker  

The novelty seeker says, “I just had the best idea!” The novelty seeker has a terminal case of Shiny Object Syndrome. They’re constantly coming up with new projects to take on or new ideas on how to do something — and then get bored with it later. They’re intrigued by the latest trend and will be quick to implement but not follow through.  They are great at making decisions and taking action. However, they end up inadvertently losing a lot of time and burning out because they don’t take consistent action in one direction long enough to see results. Many of my entrepreneurial clients fit are in this category. 

Your biggest challenge: Completion.

Your solution: Make it stick. Truly, make it stick. Write new ideas or projects on a sticky note — but don’t pursue them until you finish what you are currently working on. 

The Top 10 Most Famous Procrastinators in the World · 10. Dalai Lama · 9. Bill Clinton · 8. Victor Hugo · 7. Franz Kafka · 6. Saint Augustine · 5. Frank Lloyd Wright . 4. Leonardo Da Vinci . 3. Truman Capote . 2. Margaret Atwood . 1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Can you afford to be listed as the 11th famous procrastinator in the world navigating through a life of procrastination?

Quote from a former procrastinator. 

“The best decision I ever made as a leader was choosing to be a role model and to make my role obsolete.” ~Former CEO

About Dr. Dorothy:

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. is an International Best Selling Author and a recognized authority on bridging Science and Human Potential.

Dr. Dorothy is passionate about developing great leaders. She works with senior and emerging executives to amplify their leadership skills and drive viable/sustainable organizations with relevant, adaptable, centered, and authentic skills. International Best Selling Author, and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears, and limiting beliefs. You can live the life you desire. She brings awareness to concepts not typically obvious to one’s thoughts and feelings.