On Procrastination

I have this book... "It's About Time!" by Dr. Linda Sapadin. The book is basically a break down and treatment of the six styles of procrastination. Now, I usually find self-help books to be rather silly. Either too simplistic, too full of themselves, too lacking in actual helpful "here's how" information, or just dumb. But this is one self-help book that I'm planning to buy for most of the people I know.

The book includes tests so you can figure out what your major form(s) of procrastination are, your minor form(s), and which ones might be good to read just on general principles. Apparently, most people have one major form, and a couple of supporting procrastination styles. And if you score over 10 on a test-- that is the major one you need to pay attention to.

Uhh.... Dr. Linda? I scored over ten on ALL of them... can I go home now?

Anyway, then I started reading the three I scored highest in. And for the first one, I kept saying-- "That isn't me! I don't do that. Do I DO that? I don't do that." So then I decided maybe my test scores were a little off. Maybe I was so intent on how horrible I am about procrastinating that all I could think was that I was horrible at everything. Well, so with a much lighter frame of mind (Okay, I'm not a total failure, here.), I read the one I scored second-highest in.


Yeah... That's Me.

I can now tell you with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that I am a perfectionist procrastinator. I'm sure you already knew that. But see-- I didn't. And for each of the two styles of procrastination I've read so far (means you'll probably get to read more blogs about this in the future)-- there are two sides to the coin.

So with the Perfectionist Procrastinator, you either are ALWAYS WORKING WAY TOO HARD to get everything perfect-- and may not turn things in at work (or school) on time because you are still busy adding things to it to make it PERFECT-- an impossible task that leaves you constantly stressed and worried and wanting to DO MORE and BE BETTER.

Or- you're like me.

You are so worried that you won't do it perfectly (whatever it is) that you find reasons not to do it at all-- or not to do it until your time is so short-- it's the perfect excuse for the final product to be imperfect-- and it's just NOT YOUR FAULT that it's not PERFECT LIKE YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE-- and you assume everyone else thinks it should be, too. Because if you'd just had more time, you'd have done it right. Whatever "right" is.

The best thing about this book-- other than helping me see the pattern of my behavior in a clear and unavoidable fashion-- is that it also offers simple things that I could actually DO to help each style of procrastinator overcome their habit. From now on, you'll hear me changing my "should" statements to "could" options. My "have to" shackles to "want to" intentions. And a few other things, too.

If you feel that you just aren't happy with your life as it is. You are bored, or stressed, or you just can't seem to ever do the things you want to do in your life, your career, your personal life, or somewhere else entirely-- this book might be a good place to start. You might find yourself using some of the patterns the author describes, and you might find a way to change your style for the better. the way...
I'm not shooting for perfection anymore, either. I just want to be a high achiever. I think maybe I can do that. Without so much stress, and so little free time. And without feeling bad about myself and how little I actually achieve (or do perfectly) anymore. What a relief.

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