I have been putting off blogging, so procrastination seems like an appropriate topic. Procrastination is a major reason we may fail to adopt healthy behaviors we know will help us. A recent discussion on NPR led me to this very useful site which summarizes research on procrastination and offers many suggestions for overcoming it. For example, Dr. Timothy Pychyl has found that people (especially women) who are able to forgive themselves for procrastinating are then able to move on and accomplish their goal(s). Self-forgiveness is therefore an important coping mechanism for those of us who delay starting a project (or avoid finishing it). Also, research suggests that whether we are a healthy “self-oriented” perfectionist or a less healthy “socially-prescribed” one has a lot to do with how much we tend to procrastinate:
Not only do individuals who report higher socially-prescribed perfectionism procrastinate more, but individuals who are described as self-oriented perfectionists actually procrastinate less than non-perfectionists! Clearly, at least in terms of procrastination, there are adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism.
Here is a test to see how much of a perfectionist you are; it takes about 30 minutes to do, is scored online, and gives you some indication about what sub-type you are (but you will have to pay to get more detailed information).