Have you noticed that you make a habit of putting off basic tasks you need to do for no particular reason? Maybe you tell yourself you’ll do something the next day only to move it to yet another day. You might know something has to be done in a week and wait until the night before to get started on it. Procrastinating now and then is something everyone does. However, when it becomes a pattern it can indicate the person is experiencing both procrastination and depression. When this happens, it’s important to seek professional help in order to improve your mental health.
What Is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the act of delaying performing a task until the last minute, often risking not completing it before a deadline. Procrastinators find themselves putting off doing something they know they need to do even when they realize this is not in their best interest. It can be delaying performing a household chore, making a purchase, making an appointment, or something else in someone’s personal life. It can also be doing something related to work or finishing an assignment at school.
Procrastinating usually involves having enough time to complete a task but delaying it on purpose. The individual realizes they risk dealing with negative consequences if they do not do what they need to do in a timely manner. They may get in trouble with their boss, receive a failing grade in school, or upset a partner or friend. They also may complicate things for themselves and have no one to blame but themselves.
Everyone procrastinates from time to time, as it’s just human nature. However, some people make a habit of putting things off for deeper reasons. There are connections between procrastination and depression that can cause a person to need treatment for their mental illness in order to break the habit of procrastinating.
Procrastination Personality Types
Research shows that there are two types of procrastinators. Active procrastinators delay doing tasks because they believe that working under pressure will motivate them, even if the pressure is self-imposed. Passive procrastinators tend to put off tasks because they experience trouble making decisions and then getting to work.
To break it down further, there are six types of procrastinator personalities. Which kind a person is depends on their thought processes and actions.
Perfectionist: Puts off tasks because of anxiety over not performing a task perfectly.
Dreamer: Puts off tasks out of a belief that the usual rules do not apply to them. They take pressure off themselves to complete tasks believing it makes life easier when instead it just complicates things.
Worker: Puts off tasks because they tend to avoid anything unfamiliar or scary. They feel a sense of safety by postponing things and often worry that too many things can go wrong if they push ahead with their tasks.
Crisis maker: Puts off tasks out of a sense of needing to feel pressure in order to get a job done. They claim that pressure makes them work better, but it just ends up creating drama and negative consequences.
Defier: Puts off tasks as an attempt to passively rebel against authority. This gives the person a sense of power because they are doing things their way.
Pleaser: Puts off tasks because the person often takes on too many projects out of a need to please people.
Is There a Link Between Procrastination and Depression?
In most cases, putting off doing things is not a sign of a serious problem. However, for many, there is a definite link between procrastination and depression. Depression is a mood disorder that causes people to feel sad and unmotivated. It also can include an overwhelming loss of interest in careers, schooling, hobbies, and doing simple household chores. Someone who finds that they keep procrastinating may be doing this because it’s a symptom of their depression.
When someone experiences common signs of depression, such as lethargy, anxiety, agitation, and trouble making decisions, that can influence the decision to put off completing many kinds of tasks. Depression also means living with a consistent level of negative thoughts and emotions. This can make it easier to assume a task isn’t worth doing or that the person will someone do it incorrectly. This cycle of negativity can be broken by attending treatment for depression.
How to Stop Procrastinating
If procrastinating makes it difficult to get even the simplest of tasks done, a person can use several different approaches to help break the habit. Ways to avoid procrastination include:
- Make a To-Do List: Prioritize what order to do the tasks and estimate how long each one will take. Marking off tasks helps you feel you are accomplishing things and you know what your next step is.
- Create a Distraction-Free Environment: Once you begin a task, do not stop to check social media, text someone, or otherwise become distracted.
- Ask For Accountability: Tell a friend or family member you want to accomplish a task by a certain date or time. Ask them to check in with you to see how it’s going or if you completed it.
- Fight the Urge: When you find yourself trying to bargain your way out of doing something, identify it as an urge to procrastinate. Remind yourself that you are breaking a habit and that includes negative self-speak.
- Reward Yourself: Make a deal with yourself that you can do something enjoyable when you complete a task. Looking forward to having a bowl of ice cream or watching a favorite TV show can provide motivation.
Get Treatment for Depression in Atlanta, GA
Have you felt like you just can’t get motivated to do the things you need to do and also often feel sad and depressed? You may be wondering if there is a connection between procrastination and depression that indicates you may need help to improve your mental health. Losing enthusiasm for life and finding it difficult to be motivated are signs of both procrastination and depression. New View Wellness in Atlanta offers an in-depth treatment program for depression that helps people manage their symptoms. Our outpatient programs meet the needs of people who want to get help while still living in their homes.
For more information about our depression treatment program, visit our admissions page now. We can answer any questions you have and help you stop delaying getting the treatment you deserve.