Procrastinate Now, Panic Later

Once upon a time, 28 years ago, I was completely ready for Christmas by Dec 1st.

You see, I had a baby due on the 31st who was scheduled for a C section on the 17th.

Everything had to be done ahead of time.

Her brother – also scheduled for a C section – had arrived 3 weeks ahead of time. I had no squeeze room to work with.

Have I ever been that organized since?

Nope.

This Saturday, the 5th, you can head on over to my friend Vicky’s blog, Living the Diagnosis, and find out just how bad some years have been.

Procrastinate NowPanic Later

Why is that?

Why are we always unprepared for things that we know happen at the same time each year?

Why do we procrastinate so much?

There are a few reasons that those of us with ADHD procrastinate.

One is that we are perfectionists. Hard to believe, but true.

We want everything to be perfect; probably because we are so used to (as others are) of ending up doing less than our best.

We work so hard at being perfect that we run out of time, have to make do with what’s less and end up with something that wasn’t what we envisioned and what we are ultimately capable of.

Another reason we procrastinate is because we are not good at managing our time. We don’t prioritize very well, and we tend to underestimate how long things take and how many things we can get done in one day. Oh, and don’t forget – those 100 things you expect to get done today all have to be perfect.

Goodness. No wonder you feel so stressed out.

Finally, procrastination is about fear.

That takes a little sinking in and some thought to get your head around it.

Think of some of the things that you procrastinate about.

Right now I’m putting off scheduling my yearly exam. You know – the one we all hate. It’s uncomfortable. And year before last, I had a real scare that took a few weeks and a lot of tests to clear up.

See how fear can cause procrastination?

But it isn’t just big scary things like that.

You could be procrastinating about the holidays.

You have tons of shopping to do, gifts to buy, meals and special treats to make, events to attend.

Where’s the fear in that?

Here:

  • Maybe the mall makes you uncomfortable. See my article on Vicky’s blog on Saturday for more on that.
  • What if you buy the wrong gift and the person hates it?
  • What if you can’t cook, or hate to cook, or worse yet…. see Vicky’s blog for my worst Christmas meal.
  • What if you make cookies and they burn or they don’t taste good? What if your sister-in-law is a master chef and you have to bring a side?
  • What if you attend the event and you’re wearing the wrong thing or don’t know anybody or have to make small talk and you don’t know how?

See what I mean?

So here are some ideas to help you through procrastination no matter what time of the year:

  • Simplify. You don’t have to do everything or do it perfectly. If you made an effort, it counts. Do less and be OK with the lower stress level.
  • Learn to say no. No reason needed. Just I’m sorry, but I can’t.
  • Learn to delegate and be OK with how it turns out.
  • For important stuff, just do it and get it over with. Put on your big girl panties.
  • Look at why you’re procrastinating. Where is the fear? Is it real? Is it remotely possible? What’s the worst that could happen?
  • Remember that people who judge you over whatever fears you may have are people not worth your time, no matter who they are. And that includes family. Do your best to be polite and minimize your contact with them.

Don’t give in to procrastination and panic this year.

How about making a “To Don’t” list instead of a “To Do” one?

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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.

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