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Wednesday
Nov032010

Perfectionist or Procrastinator...or both?

"The psychological causes of procrastination vary greatly, but generally surround issues of anxiety, low sense of self-worth, and a self-defeating mentality. Procrastinators are also thought to have a higher-than-normal level of conscientiousness, more based on the "dreams and wishes" of perfection or achievement in contrast to a realistic appreciation of their obligations and potential." Strub, R. L. (1989). (See full article here)

Did you know that procrastination is actually a pyschological disorder? Studies on procrastinators show the  disorder rooted in that front part of the brain I keep referring to, the prefrontal cerebral cortex, responsible for decision-making, anxiety, and executive functions.

Remember yesterday's post- how closely depression and anxiety can be linked? Perfectionists often suffer from depression, as well as low self-worth. (Article on perfectionism) The point is this: Perfectionists and Procrastinators may have different daily experiences (or they may have similar difficulties). As David Allen notes, the two psychological causes of procrastination have to do with anxiety, not laziness. Both P's and P's suffer from anxiety, possibly depression, feelings of low self-worth, hopelessness, etc. These feelings have to do with the brain, particularly the prefrontal cerebral cortex.

I hope you are enjoying as I share my musings and my findings. (A lot of them overlap, but I hope we are attaining clarity, not redundancy). So many things that people percieve to be their own private miseries and difficulties are actually easily explained and very common. (At least 16% of Americans suffer from depression, and that number is rising). My goal is to find the simplest ways to deal with these things. It's known that people with ADD have trouble making decisions. Instead of a medication, let's begin with making rooms in their homes places where they are not facing waiting decisions everywhere they turn. Creating places where people can breathe and think and feel at peace is the first step to fortifying their ability to continue moving forward.

Do you know a procrastinator or a perfectionist? Are you one? I certainly am, and have been my whole life, except at certain times. I know what is possible on both sides. Like a dry drunk, I must fight to clear clutter, to maintain a life without clutter, and focus on my strengths, knowing the opposite is just around the corner if I cease being vigilant. Compassion is always the minimum for any change. Compassion and acceptance for ourselves, our employees, our families, our children, and our brains.

Let us begin again, calm, compassionate, and willing to understand that many of the frustrating problems we experience stem from fear. But let's not jump ahead, either. I may not need to figure out what I'm afraid of before moving forward. If I commit to myself that I will move forward, in partnership with my own strengths and weaknesses, I have a much better chance of getting there.

Good luck, I know I need it.

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References (2)

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  • Response
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  • Response
    Leah Fisch is a Professional Organizer in NYC. Change doesn't take as long as you think. Contact Leah now for a free 15 minute phone consultation: 646.430.9150

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