I recently realized that I have a procrastination paradox in my life.

On the one hand, I am an expert in postponing tasks indefinitely and procrastinating. For many years, I’ve constantly been pushing a ton of tasks in front of me. Ever so often I get some of the tasks done, but often after pushing them for a long time. Sometimes I end up spending much more time moving the task from to-do list to to-do list than it actually takes to do the task.

On the other hand, I have a very hard time suppressing my urges to do whatever that pops up in my mind. It can be extremely difficult for me to wait with whatever that I have the urge to do, even when I am fully aware that it would make much more sense to do it at a later time. This means that easily become distracted and that I have a tendency to be overwhelmed and wear myself out because there are so many things I want to do, all at the same time, as if it was “now or newer” or a matter of “all or nothing”.

It feels weird to be controlled by such opposite forces.

But if nothing else, it has helped me understand why I often have felt frustrated when trying to plan my day (and even more so when completely failing to follow this plan).

But maybe there is hope. It turns out that having this awareness has helped me to be more focused during the last days, because I better understand what is going on in my mind. So when I have a sudden urge to do something, I am sometimes able to stop myself and not let myself get distracted from my current task. And when I have an item on my to-do list that I absolutely don’t feel like doing, I am sometimes able to shrug my shoulds and think about how many more times I am likely to postpone it if I don’t do it now – and then do it.

I wonder if other people have the same procrastination paradox. Maybe I’m not alone in this.

My procrastination paradox