Ahh, procrastination. It’s a beloved pastime at this time of year, as university students delay studying for exams, and people put off doing their taxes.
Studying for exams was a common thing that caused me to procrastinate when I was in university. I’d do anything to avoid studying. In the lead-up to the exam period, you could rest assured that my laundry and groceries would be done and put away, the house would be clean and tidy, and I’d be have a clear email inbox. Then, as the deadline for a paper or the date of an exam approached, I’d often find myself covering a ton of material at the eleventh hour.
Of course, some people work better at the last minute when they’re up against a deadline. This describes me to some extent. In all seriousness, I graduated from university with honours, so I must have done something right!
Fast-forward to the present day. The challenge that I now face, which I call procrastination 2.0, is new to me.
What’s procrastination 2.0? It’s when I procrastinate when faced with a task that I assigned to myself, and I’m only accountable to myself to get it done. There’s no deadline like an exam date. The only motivator to get it done is the feeling of satisfaction that I’ll eventually have from setting a goal and achieving it. For some people, these kinds of tasks could be either personal or professional, like taking a self-directed learning course, losing weight or becoming vegan.
Here’s what I put off.
For about six months, I had been dreaming of starting an Instagram account for this blog. I thought about it every day. Yet, I always put it off because I thought I was too busy to fully plan how I’d bring it to life and what it would look like, beyond the initial strategic thinking.
Then, I heard a phase that was a game changer:
“Sometimes, done is better than perfect.” – Sheryl Sandberg
In reality, thinking that it was necessary to perfectly map it all out before I could move forward and create the account was a big excuse.
And the reasons that I made up for why it wouldn’t be “perfect” were plentiful. For example, I didn’t have Photoshop or Illustrator software on my home laptop. I didn’t have new headshots. I didn’t have a tripod for my camera.
When it dawned on me that waiting for the “perfect” time was just a stall tactic, I had leaped over one of the biggest procrastination 2.0 hurdles of all. I could start the Instagram account without the list of things that I thought I needed, and then evolve my tactics along the way.
So, I dove in and started the @pencilskirtsandpunctuation account on Instagram (please feel free to follow it!). I craft my images, quotes and overall feed aesthetic using a more organic and personal approach as I go (within certain parameters and content pillars, of course). Action creates clarity and momentum.
And that all adds up to “perfect” for me right now.
Have you ever experienced procrastination 2.0? What made you finally stop it?
Image credits: Pixabay.com.