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In the Mind of a Procrastinating Perfectionist

In the Mind of a Procrastinating Perfectionist

You are probably familiar with the lines, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Accompanied by the heavy feeling of laziness, you find yourself procrastinating again for the umpteenth time. It is as though there is an unswayable force holding you back from finishing something. Before you know it, a pile of backlogs looms over you at the end of the week. You groan internally just thinking about doing them.

Sounds familiar…

Can you relate? I bet you can. It is unlikely that you have not procrastinated yet in your whole lifetime. In fact, the act itself is a common phenomenon, brought about by running away from doing something. I wrote this article to reassure you that you are not alone, and you are not lazy!

I don’t think procrastination equates to laziness. I believe that each person who does that has a particular reason why they delay themselves from doing things. In my case, it is due to being a perfectionist.

I’m going to tell you what goes on in the mind of a perfectionist procrastinator every time a deadline is impending.

In the mind of a procrastinating perfectionist

Underestimating time

The entire procrastinating fiasco begins with me underestimating the time that I have. I’d first do a quick survey on the details of my task. Then, I’d do some calculating in my head – Oh, that would take me a good three hours to do, for instance. I’ll tell myself I can do it sometime today or tomorrow when my laziness dissipates. What really happens is that the lethargy only goes away the actual day before the deadline. Consequently, I stress myself out hours before the deadline. But hey, where’s the fun if I won’t let the adrenaline rush get to me?

Constant distraction

If I actually do manage to sit through my work, guaranteed it’s going to be seamlessly… chaotic. Wielding the attention span of a goldfish, everything would be a distraction for me. I’d be extra motivated to play video games that I’m too lazy to play during an otherwise plain day. A friend of mine would send a video on TikTok and an hour later, I’m tumbling down the rabbit hole that is my FYP. At the end of the day, I never get any work done.

I’d rather do something else

That book that has been sitting on my shelf, rich with dust? I think it’s a good time to read it. Anything just to escape my nightmare: accomplishing my task.

I need more inspiration

Most of the time, I convince myself that I do not wield enough inspiration to begin working. This is because I rely on my spontaneous bursts of creativity. If I don’t think I have enough ingenious cells during that particular time, I’d decide that it’s not yet a good time to commence being productive.

Gaslighting myself

The term is funny, I know, but one of the things that go on in my head when there’s a deadline is a lot of gaslighting. I convince myself that I should reward myself with more rest. Reality check: I have a paper due in two days! Nonetheless, my mind reigns superior, and I get persuaded that I deserve to rest indeed. You’ve been a good girl, my brain would insist. You’ve been a good girl after doing literally the bare minimum. I would then be coaxed and proceed to sleep.

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Everything has to be perfect

Needless to say, when a perfectionist works, they really work. A lot of the effort goes into proofreading every now and then. Even the smallest detail would never go unnoticed. Every little thing has to be polished meticulously, consequently consuming a lot of time.

The closest situation I could analogize it with is that one episode of Spongebob Squarepants. It was when he scribbled furiously, as if writing something substantial, only to end up with “The.”

At the end of the day, I do get work done, albeit under the rockiest path. Still, I want to give credit where it is due, and that is to myself. Cheers to me, and to all of my “put the pro in procrastination” lasses and fellows out there. We all managed to pull through despite the odds of our quirky minds.

What are you procrastinating about today?

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