We’re all probably putting something off. We here at Uproxx know that because we can see our website usage statistics, and y’all aren’t logging on quite as much after work. While not everybody is a procrastinator, we all procrastinate, and it’s a bad habit that dates back to the beginning of man. But why do we procrastinate? And why do we feel like we are even when we’re not?
First, the reality: there are only so many hours in a day, and we’ve already booked up a lot of them. Most of us are employed, and more and more of us are working multiple jobs. If that weren’t enough, we spend almost an hour every day getting to and from work. And that’s just what we’re paid to do. Once you get home, there’s housework, which on average eats at least an hour and a half of your day, every day. And this assumes you’re single, with no children or elderly family members to care for. So, out of twenty-four hours in a day, at least some of which should be consumed with sleep, you’ve probably got ten booked when you wake up.
That’s a lot, right? So it makes sense that you’re going to let some things slip and put others on the back burner. And you’re going to feel guilty about it (which will likely fuel further procrastination). So what do you do? Take a breath, stop feeling guilty for a few minutes, and soak up some vital advice.
Know Your Procrastination
There are six kinds of procrastination: Organizational, where you’re so overwhelmed with things to do you can’t get anything done; Uncertain, where you’re not sure what the results are going to be and don’t want to start the task until you do; Overscheduling, where you cram too many tasks into one period of time; Perfectionist, where you put off the task because you worry you can’t do it perfectly; Negative, where you’re convinced the task will turn out badly; and habit-based, where you’re simply not good at some aspect of the task.
Some of these are easier to solve: Organizational procrastination, for example, can be ameliorated with a comprehensive schedule. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a cakewalk. Coming to grips with why you procrastinate, though, is an important first step in changing your habits. Knowing why you do what you do allows you to be realistic and come up with specific ways to handle the type (or types) of procrastination you struggle with.
Give Yourself A Break
We all need downtime. It’s a scientific fact. Few, if any, of us are built to constantly be working our brains right up until we drop into bed. It’s OK, when you wake up or when you get home, to take a little time and just get caught up with the day. Whether it’s a quiet morning with just you, some music and some coffee, or an episode of your favorite show when you get home, give yourself permission and space to unwind. We recommend staying away from anything bingeable, though, maybe go for a nice self-contained episode of Law & Order.
Try your best, take a break (there’s no guilt in it!), and don’t beat yourself up because your checklist isn’t complete at the end of the day. Focus on doing better and finish what’s important, like your evening beer run.