PSYCHOLOGIES No. 36
I’ll do it … tomorrow
There are not so many people who do everything on time without delay, among us. But there are millions of people who like to postpone it for later: the eternal lateness generated by the habit of putting off until tomorrow what is too late to do today, concerns all aspects of our lives – from quarterly reports to going to the zoo with children.
What scares us? The fact itself: you need to start doing this. Of course, when the deadlines are running out, we still begin to move, but it often turns out that it is too late. Sometimes it all ends sadly – job loss, failure on an exam, family scandal … Psychologists name three reasons for this behavior.
A person who puts everything aside for later, not just does not know how to organize his time – he is afraid to take action. To offer him to buy a diary is like asking a depressed person to “just look at the problem from the positive side”.
“Endless deferrals is his strategy of behavior,” said José R. Ferrari, MD, professor of psychology at DePaul American University. – He realizes that it is difficult for him to take action, but does not notice the hidden meaning of his behavior – the desire to defend himself. Such a strategy avoids a collision with internal fears and anxieties. ”
Striving for the ideal
Shelters are afraid to be unsuccessful later. But a paradox: their behavior, as a rule, leads to failures and failures. Putting things aside, they entertain themselves with the illusion that they have enormous potential and will still succeed in life. They are convinced of this, because from childhood, parents repeated that they are the best, most talented.
“They believed in their exclusivity, although, of course, deep down they could not doubt it,” explain Jane Burka and Lenora Ewan, American researchers working with the syndrome of “procrastination”. “As adults and putting off solving problems, they continue to be guided by this ideal image of their own“ I ”, because they are not able to take a real image.”
The opposite scenario is no less dangerous: when parents are always dissatisfied, the child loses all desire to act. Later, he will face a contradiction between the constant desire to become better, more perfect, and limited opportunities. Frustrated in advance, do not start doing business – this is also a way of protection against a possible failure.
How not to raise a procrastinator
So that the child does not grow up to those who are accustomed to postpone everything until later, do not inspire him that he is “the most-most”, do not bring up unhealthy perfectionism in him. Do not go to the other extreme: if you are happy with what the child is doing, do not hesitate to show it to him, otherwise instill in him an irresistible self-doubt. Do not stop him from making decisions: let him become independent, and not nurture a sense of protest in himself. Otherwise, later on, he will find many ways to express it – from simply unpleasant to directly illegal.
Feeling of protest
Some people follow a completely different logic: they refuse to obey any requirements. They regard any convention as an encroachment on their freedom: they don’t pay, say, for travel on the bus – and so they express their protest against the rules adopted in society. Note: they will still be forced to obey when the law requires them in the person of the controller.
Burka and Ewan explain: “Everything happens according to a scenario from childhood, when parents controlled their every step, not allowing to show independence.” As adults, these people reason like this: “Now you can not follow the rules, I will manage the situation myself.” But such a struggle leaves the wrestler himself loser – she exhausts him without relieving the fears that come from distant childhood.
What to do?
If you continue to think that you are not capable of anything, your indecision will only intensify. Remember: inertia is also a sign of internal conflict: one half of you wants to take action, and the other discourages it. Listen to yourself: resisting action, what are you afraid of? Try searching for answers and writing them down.
Get started in stages
Divide the task into several stages. It is much more efficient to sort one drawer of a table than to convince yourself that you will disassemble the whole, only tomorrow. Start with short intervals: “From 4 p.m. to 4.15 p.m. I will spread the bills.” Gradually, you will begin to get rid of the feeling that you will not succeed.
Do not wait for inspiration. Some people are convinced that they need it in order to start any business. Others believe that they work better when deadlines are running out. But it is not always possible to calculate the time it takes to solve a problem. In addition, unforeseen difficulties may arise at the last moment.
A reward assigned to oneself often becomes a good incentive for change: read another chapter of the detective story you started, having finished disassembling the papers, or take a vacation (at least for a couple of days) when you hand over a responsible project.
Tips for someone nearby
The habit of putting everything off for later is very annoying. But if you call such a person irresponsible or a lazy person, you only worsen the situation. Hard to believe, but such people are not at all irresponsible. They struggle with their unwillingness to take action and worry about their insecurity. Do not give vent to emotions: your emotional reaction further paralyzes a person. Help him get back to reality. Explaining, for example, why his behavior is unpleasant for you, leave a chance to rectify the situation. It will be useful to him. And it’s unnecessary to even talk about the benefits for you.