The Cure For Procrastination
My wife and I recently renovated the guest bathroom: new vanity, paint job, a few tub repairs. The project took about a week of evening work, and now the room feels brand new.
The old bathroom was in desperate need of a little TLC. The sink leaked, and a drawer in the vanity was broken. The thing is, we’ve lived with the bathroom in this state for a long time. A really long time. The issues didn’t impact our usage too much, so we kept putting it off. In the end, what we put off forever only took a handful of hours to accomplish.
Psychology Today says procrastination is common among perfectionists, which, yeah, that checks. Though, they also say perfectionists usually put off projects so they can feel the euphoria of completing them at the last minute. That, however, does not resonate with me.
I’m a very punctual person and abhor being late for anything. Deadlines? I strive to be early. This newsletter, for example, gives me anxiety if it’s not scheduled at least two weeks out. Yet, I put the bathroom on hold forever. Why?
Lack of a deadline.
Anything with a deadline motivates me to be early or, worst-case scenario, on time. The bathroom had no deadline, so it fell to the bottom of the list. Then, two weeks ago, my wife and I set a deadline to renovate the bathroom for the end of April. Guess what happened? We kicked it into gear, and we completed the bathroom within the week.
If you’re a procrastinating perfectionist like me, set deadlines for anything of importance. It’s the best (possibly only) cure for procrastination I’ve discovered.
What have you been putting off that deserves a deadline?
A version of this story originally appeared in my weekly newsletter, Eat Your Words. Eat Your Words is an idiom meaning to take back what you’ve said. For me, the phrase combines my two favorite things: eating and writing. The Eat Your Words by Justin Cox newsletter mixes writing and creativity advice with featured meals and recipes. It’s the best of both worlds, delivered right to your inbox every week. Sign up today!