Perfection leads to Procrastination.
by DVaaR The door to your wellbeing! on Jun 29, 2021
Why Perfection leads to Procrastination?
Tom, a grade 10 student, knew his deadline for a project submission. He was an above average student and wanted to be perfect because he hammered ‘PERFECTION’ right from his childhood. The word ‘perfect’ echoed his subconscious and he started thinking and seeing perfection in self and others unconsciously. He started working on day one but lost motivation the very next day. Why? Because it “wasn’t up to the mark” he said. Every day, he used to get up with a heavy feeling. He knew that the work needed to be done, and that thought was constantly lingering in his mind. He was getting tired just thinking about the project, but he never worked on it. He not only judged himself too hard, but there was also a fear of being judged. He began procrastinating the work, and finally turned in the project in the last moment, unsatisfied and under-confident.
Have you ever come across such a situation or such individuals? Yes, being ‘perfect’ or yearning for perfection may lead to procrastination, and most of the time, it is the former who is the culprit. It is strange but true. Where does this Perfectionism stem from? Is it the fear of judgement of self or others ?
The most important thing to remember? You are not alone. There are many out there, who are not motivated because they feel, or they have been made to feel that they are not perfect. What is PERFECTION? In my opinion, there is nothing called PERFECTION, it is an illusion created by our brain to stay in our comfort zone or rather not to work. Our brain is a survival machine and it likes to be in the best possible zone. If something is imperfect for you, it may be perfect in somebody else’s opinion and vice versa.
So, how do you be proactive and complete a task using the time efficiently…
- Consciously lower the bar : The first step is to understand that anything new, will take time and it is a slow process and an imperfect one. For example, If you have joined a dance class for the first time, and you see senior students around you moving and dancing gracefully and you are struggling with your basic moves, it is natural to get demotivated. So take a step back, pause and tell yourself “I am new at this, and I will get there over time”.
- Break the habit: Procrastination is a habit and all habits are subconscious wiring. Being hard on yourself will not help you get rid of this habit. Any habit, takes time and needs lots of practice which has to be done consciously. Be compassionate, encouraging, and loving towards yourself and fix it gently and let this habit become one with you.
- Do not multi task: Take baby steps and don’t try to multi task. Our brain is not efficient in multitasking; It is a myth. Focus on that one task that needs to be done. It could be learning a new language, or an instrument, or even the above example of going to the dance class. Learn to not be hard on yourself. Being mindful in a single task helps build concentration.
- Track your time : If you have a habit of taking a lot of time analyzing before you start a task, keep a time frame for that. Too much of analysis will never allow you to start the work. Prioritize the task, plan it well, and if you know the deadline don’t wait until the deadline to start the task. If it is a priority be on it by maintaining a daily to do list, and checking that out first thing in the morning, or the last thing before going to bed. There are apps available to track time like focus timer.
- Learn from your mistakes : Never miss twice. If you miss once get back on track as quickly as possible. It is a known fact that the first time you miss, it is a mistake, the second time it’s a choice. Be aware of your challenges and talk to yourself positively about it, and be on it.
- Associate yourself with positive and proactive people : Your energy and behavior is directly proportionate to the people you associate with. “Birds of the same feather flock together”.
- Learn the art of saying NO politely : If you have a task to finish, and you have a dear friend or girl/boy friend asking you for a dinner or coffee, learn to say no. It is ok if you take care of your work, and your peace of mind, before you think of pleasing others.
- Reward yourself: Think of something which you will reward yourself once you achieve completing a task on or before time. You are never too old to reward yourself.
- Updating and Learning : Take some time watching videos, which will help you with effective strategies in managing your time well. You never know what will trigger your subconscious mind and may reverse this habit of procrastination.
- Be Mindful : Staying in tune with your body, and your mind will help you break the un-resourceful pattern effectively. Practice meditating in between the task. This will help you stay grounded, and will lead to lesser anxiety, and the feeling of overwhelm. Keep a self- check and use positive words to encourage yourself. You can also use apps like insight timer for 5 -10 min of guided meditation, which can be done in between tasks. Such apps will be effective as you have to just follow the guided meditation. When you are mindful, you become more intuitive, and the decision making is done when you are in a healthy state of mind.
- Stay hydrated: When we are working on a project in a team, especially virtually, you may not feel thirsty, but staying hydrated will help you think better.
(Associate Power Coach CLI ® ,Developmental Parenting Coach, NLP Practitioner, Yoga & Mindfulness Trainer)