Monday, March 4, 2013

i read this article on procrastination today, and it is seriously the most perfect thing ever. like, really. go read it now. especially if you procrastinate or know people who procrastinate or have ever judged someone as lazy because they procrastinate. it's kinda long for an online article, but totally worth it. i mean it.

if you don't want to read all of it then at least read what he says is the reason for procrastination:

It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth. 
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything. 
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures. 
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers. 
This was the part that made my heart sink when I read it. Not that anybody was trying to make things difficult for me, but I grew up feeling high expectations from the adults in my life and myself. For most of my schooling, I was always in advanced programs, always aced everything, and when I got anything less than an A, people asked me what was wrong. 
I also noticed other kids didn't get this treatment. They were congratulated for getting B’s and even C’s. So from the feedback I got, I learned that a report card (of mine) with five A’s and a B was indicative of a shortcoming somewhere, not success. I've written about this before so I won’t get into it here, but suffice it to say that I learned that the downsides of being imperfect are far greater than the upsides of being perfect.

5 comments:

  1. anonymous hippopotamusMarch 5, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    Ugh! I feel this way!!! Reading the article i was like omg thaaaats why!!! I swear i've been getting angrier and angrier and soooo soooo stressed. and just putting crap off...and hating myself for being a lazy ass. *sigh* I went home and tried super hard to overcome procrastinating. Thanks for sharing the article.

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    1. i think this article allowed me to justify procrastination and blame other people for it instead of motivating me to overcome it.

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  2. this article helped to connect the dots for me. thanks for sharing it xx

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    1. no problem :). it's nice to see your name in the blog comments.

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    2. thanks for having me back, it feels nice and cozy

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