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Procrastination and Perfectionism: Are You Still Waiting for the “Right Time?”

Procrastination and Perfectionism
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“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” — Jackson Brown, Jr.

“I don’t think there is a such thing as the right time,” Roslyn said twirling a rose gold glittery pen through her fingers.

“I think it’s about commitment,” she continued. “If you’re committed to something and you’ve decided this is what you want, you know — want — then, that’s as good as a right time can get.”

“You’re right about that,” I laughed. “I’ve missed too many opportunities waiting on the right time,” I said making air quotes.

Roslyn and I continued talking about our projects and how we planned to execute each one. Specifically, we discussed projects that were a long time in the making. I took note of our discussion because I knew I’d write about it later.

Procrastination and Perfectionism: For a Perfectionist, Right Can Go Terribly Wrong

The regret of waiting too long is a bitter sting especially when you know you’ve missed opportunities waiting for the right time. Lately, I’ve had to ask myself, Does the “right time” really exist, or is the right time simply us deciding to do the damn thing, now?

And I know when I hear myself say the word “right” I must evaluate whether perfectionism is on my brain again.

Oh, have I mentioned I’m a recovering perfectionist?

Yep, couple it with shame proneness and you may understand why I must evaluate what my “right” means at the time.

Still, in the meantime, you’re waiting.

The Religiosity Behind Waiting For the Right Time

On my journey, I’ve learned there is a far cry between religiosity, faith, and practice. Religiosity can cause us to lose clarity and focus while having a faith practice can help some find clarity and peace.

Waiting for the right time walks the line of religiosity. On the one hand, waiting as a form of preparedness can be helpful.

You can take a step back, reflect, and plan before taking action. A step back to plan can give you the insight you need to make sure you make effective decisions.

On the other hand, waiting for the right time can lead to perfectionism and procrastination. You can become so focused on the idea of “the perfect time” that you can become paralyzed and unable to take inspired action.

This type of behavior is often linked to religiosity, as it can be rooted in the idea that if we don’t wait for the perfect time, or the time that has been “ordained”, then everything will go wrong and we will be disappointed.

The perfect time or the right time — a thing being ordained by a Higher Power — is a dangerous mentality, as it can permit one to wait for a sign or fear an omen. Either way, it leads to inaction and procrastination.

Procrastination and Perfectionism: Readiness and Preparedness is the Right Time

Perhaps, when my grandfather would say “If you’re already ready, you don’t have to get ready. So, stay ready,” he wasn’t just talking about preparedness but also focus.

And somewhere between Roslyn’s statement and my grandfather’s famous quote, I realize the right time is only when we are prepared and focused on our goals.

Achieving the goals and desires of your heart is no easy feat. It requires dedication, focus, and a plan of action. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make this process easier.

1. Focus on the present moment and procrastination and perfectionism won’t overwhelm you.

It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by the future, but it’s important to remain focused on the present. By focusing on what you can do right now, you can make progress and move closer to your goals. This movement doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to get into the flow of things and progress as you go. Your focus will “tune in” and you won’t feel overwhelmed.

You indeed give yourself a start by starting.

2. Break it down

Break down your goals and desires into manageable tasks. Making a list of your goals and desires can help you see them more clearly, and breaking them down into smaller tasks can make them less intimidating.

3. What’s the plan? The kryptonite of procrastination and perfectionism is a solid plan.

Once you have a list of tasks, create a plan of action that outlines the steps you need to take to reach your goals. This plan should include deadlines for each task, so you can track your progress.

Folks, a good plan is like kryptonite to perfectionism and procrastination. A plan diverts attention away from trying to find the “right time” or having the “right resources.” The plan shows you can begin now, there is no need to wait.

4. Track and Reward

This can help you keep track of your accomplishments and make adjustments to your plan if needed. Additionally, don’t forget to reward yourself for each milestone accomplished.

As I have shared before, celebrating your accomplishments and breakthroughs is a great way to stay motivated and keep going.

Furthermore, when you reward yourself, it reminds you that good things come from focused work, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

5. Reflect and Document Your Thoughts and Feelings

Please don’t forget to set aside time each day to reflect on the progress you have made, and to make adjustments to your plan if needed.

You may track, but you must be aware when you are off track. Check in on your feelings and emotions so that you can better assess whether you feel good about the choices you’ve made and the direction you’re going in life.

Trust the Process As You Progress as You Overcome Procrastination and Perfectionism.

The process of achieving our goals and dreams is a vital part of life. It is easy to get discouraged and think there is a perfect way to get to your dreams.

That is why it is essential to trust the process and have faith that our efforts will pay off.

Trusting the process means having patience and embracing the journey. It means staying focused on the goal and not getting distracted by the inevitable minor setbacks. It means being willing to put in the work and understanding that, as long as we progress, we will eventually achieve our goals and our heart’s desires.

The right-time mentality can be dangerous. We can get so focused on finding the perfect time to start our journey that we never actually start.

Remember that progress is rarely linear, and there will be highs and lows. Let go of the right-time mentality and embrace focus and preparedness.

Focus on the small wins and trust that they will eventually lead to big successes. Keep your eye on the prize and never give up on your dreams.