What if I told you that most likely many of your colleagues are procrastinating right now? And many other people, especially those who are, like you, embarqued in demanding, personal long-term projects? Researchers, freelancers, writers, etc. They are sitting in their offices, in libraries, at home, etc. knowing that they are not doing what they should be doing, feeling ashamed of themselves. Feeling alone with this problem. Feeling isolated.
For 7 years I have asked in each of my workshops for Ph.D students: who procrastinates? I always raise my arm first. Then, at least 80% of the group raises their hands too. If not 100%. Before I ask I have taken care to create an atmosphere where they feel safe to admit it. They know I am not going to criticize them or allow anyone else to criticize them. That would be actually quite ironic coming from me, a pretty heavy procrastinator. Ironic, wrong, and everything but helpful.
When, asked what I do for a living, I mention coaching regarding procrastination most people react with: “oh, yes! I do need that too!”
If I joke and declare myself to be “the queen of procrastination” a hot discussion starts, even a fight for the title of the “worst procrastinator ever”. Lol! Ahem.
But it is not only me who observes this. Look, research finds it too:
“Across scores of surveys, about 95 percent of people admit to procrastinating, with about a quarter of these indicating that it is a chronic, defining characteristic”.
The procrastination equation, Piers Steel, PhD, Harper, New York, 2011
So as it seems, we are all but alone with this problem. Still, there are way too many people feeling lonely in this respect. But what if the world became a place safe enough so that we could escape “procrastinator’s isolation”? What if it were totally normal to go out of your office, seek someone and say “look, I have tried for a while but somehow I keep putting off this task, would you help me find a way out of this vicious circle”?