Is Procrastinating Making Your Anxiety Worse?

I don’t know why I do it.

So my car tax was up for renewal. I got an email reminder months in advance. Then the months ticked into weeks. Then the weeks compressed to days.

And now I’m here trying to frantically search for something affordable in the four hour window I’ve given myself to do it.

But why? Why do I leave things to the last minute? What kind of sadist am I?

Well. A creative one, if Google is anything to go by.

Creative people, apparently, tend to procrastinate more. Other reasons you might procrastinate are:

1. Not knowing what needs to be done

2. Not knowing how to do something

3. Not wanting to do something

4. Not caring if it gets done or not

5. Not caring when something gets done

6. Not feeling in the mood to do it

7. Being in the habit of waiting until the last minute

8. Believing that you work better under pressure

9. Thinking that you can finish it at the last minute

10. Lacking the initiative to get started

11. Forgetting

12. Blaming sickness or poor health

13. Waiting for the right moment

14. Needing time to think about the task

15. Delaying one task in favour of working on another

16. As an act of rebellion

17. To avoid being given more work

18. A fear of failure

19. A fear of success (? This one wasn’t elaborated on in the post I’ve linked but I wish it had been!)

I mean, nearly all of the above apply to me. Especially when it comes to car tax, which doesn’t make even the top 100 of Sexiest Errands To Run.

There’s also an element of “I don’t have to do that yet.”

I don’t have to trawl boring insurance websites just yet, so I’ll give it to Future Sophie because I’m pretty sure she’s gunna LOVE this task I cannot be bothered to do.

The thing is, if I had a devil may care attitude to deadlines it would be fine.

But I don’t.

I am an anxious woman who arrives twenty minutes early for trains, four hours early for flights and at the very least on time for deadlines.

So my tendency to procrastinate is in direct conflict with my anxiety, which just gets worse the closer a deadline gets.

And yet.

Here I am.

With the clock ticking closer to midnight and my car tax running out.

So why do I continue to put myself in a situation that i know I’m not going to enjoy?

I googled this too. But this time google wasn’t so helpful. So I guess I’m going to have to try and figure this out for myself.

My desire to procrastinate for any and all of the above reasons outweighs my perception of how bad my future anxiety will be. Therefore, in the moment I choose to procrastinate, I am choosing the path that I perceive will cause me less pain in the long run (maybe) or at least less pain in the very immediate term (more likely).

So here’s me, sitting myself down and giving myself a stern talking to – because the anxiety from the impending deadline always feels worse than the in-the-moment ennui when I’m faced with a task I don’t want to do. So here’s another promise I’m making to me:

3. Stop making yourself anxious when it can be avoided.


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