We are all forced to do things we would rather not do, and it is easy to delay those undesirable tasks. But the issue of procrastination is much more present for some than others. So what characteristics lead to a bigger procrastinator? We will cover two groups in particular: perfectionists and pessimists.
Perfectionists are procrastinators because they never think anything is good enough. Therefore, the added pressure of each task is magnified. It takes so much more effort to complete something perfectly, than just complete it at a passable rate.
All pessimists say they are realists. Being a realist implies that things always end up a certain way. What about the reality of things going smoothly? Pessimists are more likely to believe that failure is longer lasting and quickly results in a lower confidence level. This is only worsened by negative self talk along the way.
The good news, especially for procrastinators, is that people can actually learn optimism, which can even help with procrastination. This was brought to the forefront of the psychological field by Martin Seligman. His research shows that changing one’s perspective on the world can impact their happiness in a significant way. Seligman says “While you can’t control your experiences, you can control your explanations.” These explanations may be rationalizations for past experiences, or justifications for future work.
What explanations are you using when procrastinating? How is that serving you? And most importantly… Are you an optimist? Click here to take the quiz.