I am a procrastinating perfectionist; I know it, my boyfriend knows it, I’m pretty sure even my cat knows it. The thing is that I’ve cut it waaay too close to important deadlines too many times and I’m trying to find ways to change that.
It’s weird being a procrastinating perfectionist because, in my case at least, it’s always the things I care about that I put off the most. Exams? Easy, can study months in advance. Work? Fine, I’ll do all the extra stuff right away. But the moment it comes to something such as applying for a big audition or fixing up the garden I freeze.
It’s so frustrating because I want my acting applications to be perfect and I want to put a lot of time into it but I just can’t start because it seems so daunting. The same can be said for my garden, I don’t want it to be half arsed. I have this big idea of how I want it to look and the task just seems too big so I keep putting it off until the grass has enveloped my house!
The two worst times I’ve procrastinated something super important (to the point of almost losing the opportunity) have both been big acting applications. The first was when I procrastinated sending in my application for this thing called ‘Top Arts’ – something I’d been working toward the whole of my VCA Drama – and I ended up missing the deadline. Luckily for me, a spot opened up and I got in so phew meltdown averted. It was a pretty close call so you think I’d learn but oooh no!
Just a few days ago was the closing date to send in applications for a theatre degree at my dream university. I’d had the tab with the form open for the entire month and all I’d filled in was my basic details and none of the questions like ‘why do you want to do this course?’ ‘what inspires you?’. But it wasn’t until the day it was closing that I forced myself to complete it (I made my boyfriend refuse to let me leave the house until I’d done it). Even though it is my dream course and what I’ve been striving towards for years I still risked not getting a chance to audition just because of my need for everything to be absolutely perfect.
I’ve thought about it a lot and I think that to help combat being a procrastinating perfectionist I’m going to try doing the following:
- Break down tasks: I think my main issue is I always want to tackle things all at once and so it becomes overwhelming. Hopefully breaking it into smaller tasks will help me.
- Use my friends: Whenever I have something I need to do, I’m going to tell my friends so that they are on my back about it too and in the worst cases put me under house arrest till I get my ass into gear.
- Don’t measure by time: Instead of saying ‘I’ll work on this for an hour’ I’m going to start saying ‘I’ll work on this until I’ve done this thing’ if I measure stuff in time i know I’ll just waste it.
Do any of you have this problem too? Tell me any methods that help you and maybe we can help each other beat this!