Why Perfectionists Procrastinate
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Why Perfectionists Procrastinate

Perfectionists aren't always perfect.

314
Why Perfectionists Procrastinate
Greg McKeown

It’s 1:30 a.m. on any given school night. People expect you to be asleep in bed, feeling well-rested and ready to tackle anything for the next day.

Let’s be real, though. That probably hasn’t happened since middle school. At 1:30am, you’re not even getting ready for bed. You’re most likely hunched over in your couch, laptop burning your legs because you’ve been using it so long, and probably stress-laughing at The Office. And you have a ten-page paper due at 8am the next morning. And your “paper” looks like this:

It’s not looking so cute right now (but at least your handwriting looks nice).

Before we start with anything, let’s make this clear: everyone is a perfectionist and a procrastinator. Of course, there’s always going to be exceptions with some people. But just about everyone likes having structure in their lives, and people will always want certain things to be done a certain way. Ironically, we turn into the laziest of the lazy whenever something actually requires us to put in an absurdly low amount of effort. As a student, it’s especially frustrating to shake off the laziness and just do what needs to be done. Often, it’s actually our perfectionism that makes us procrastinate. It’s a vicious cycle that people can’t really comprehend.

You say, “That literally doesn’t make any sense. If I’m a perfectionist, why am I here binge-watching ‘House Hunters’ and not doing all the work I need to do?” Frankly, it’s because of the most violent cycle you’ll ever witness in your life. The funny thing is that you’ll never know about it until you realize it exists. When you’re a perfectionist, you find it really difficult to even begin the project. And even if you get past that phase, you sometimes get stuck in the middle of doing it and that leads you to procrastinate. Why? It’s most likely because you’re afraid to mess up whatever you were assigned to do. Whenever you’re afraid to mess up, it’s way easier to avoid it and not do anything rather than go through that fear. Then that’s where all the procrastination comes in. Problem solved!

Well… not really. The real issue is how to get over that fear. Think about it this way: by procrastinating, you don’t practice the skills that you need in order to become a better and well-rounded person. You need to be able to make mistakes and accept them in order to learn from them. By eliminating the opportunities you have to learn, you don’t gain anything. None of your work gets done, you don’t get any new skills, you’ll have the stress of the work you need to complete, and it becomes the most annoying, painful thing you’ll have to face. Instead of being afraid of the task and not completing it, take some initiative to do something about it. For example, take the time to create a list of your tasks and other reminders. Writing things down in a list can be extremely helpful because you get to visualize all your activities. Also, once you’re done with said tasks, you can cross off those things on the list, and it’ll make you feel more productive. If you’re having trouble starting on a project or assignment, make an outline of it. Writing out the parts of the project that you’re familiar with can stimulate you to find the beginning you need.

Being able to work hard non-stop and not procrastinate is something only a few and very blessed can do. You’re human, though, so know that you’re not alone when it comes to your struggles in being a productive person. It’s a guarantee that everyone in their life has procrastinated, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Don’t stress out too much about being an unproductive person sometimes. However, never settle with that fact and always try your best to work through those feelings of procrastination. You’ll never know what you can do until you actually get to work on it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

123799

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

5037

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

27886

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

9310

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

4689

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

3887
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

2419

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments