We all procrastinate. I know I do. We know it isn’t the best way to do things but we as humans are really good at rationalizing things. These are those explanations or excuses that we use to deny the truth that we are actually procrastinating. They can also help us avoid uncomfortable or difficult tasks. They can also mask the real reasons we are procrastinating in the first place. Since these thoughts appear somewhat reasonable they can helps us avoid feeling guilty for putting off what really needs to be done. Being aware of some of the most common rationalizations can hopefully help us identify when we are procrastinating and realize how silly the rationalizations sound.
- “I’ll do it when I feel more motivated”. Sounds reasonable right? Don’t feel like doing now so I’ll do it when I feel like. What if that magical feeling never comes? Sometimes we just have to do it even if we don’t feel like it.
- “I’ll put this off until the last minute then the time pressure will build up and I’ll be more motivated”. This can work, but at what cost? Less time to do a good job and less time to check for errors so work can appear sloppier. Also the time pressure can be really overwhelming and makes us feel upset therefore tempting to continue to avoid it.
- “Just one more episode and I’ll get started” Otherwise known as by me as “Netflix syndrome”. There’s a reason there is a countdown at the end of each episode to get us to keep watching. Often shows end on a cliffhanger to also to get is to keep watching. Just one more episode can turn in to just 2 more or 3. Sometimes pausing in the middle of an episode can help you avoid that cliffhanger.