Waiting until the last minute to start that paper? Does due on Monday mean do on Monday? Feeling stressed because of all the things you should have done but didn’t? Well not me! I’m a precrastinator. Yes, you heard that right PREcrastinator. Society talks about procrastinators all the time. We make jokes about leaving things to the day it is due and most people can relate. However, I fall into the category of precrastinators, and I know I can’t be alone!
So, what even is precrastination you ask? Well, it’s the opposite of a procrastinator. Procrastinators have things to do and don’t do them until they can’t put it off any longer. Their work might be rushed, or they may be stressed due to the result of waiting, and waiting, and waiting, to get stuff done. This isn’t just for work or school either, it can be for daily chores or social interactions. So, being the opposite of this of a procrastinator is great, right? Wrong. Precrastinators feel compelled to do tasks right away as soon as they come up. Tasks often get done quickly but to get the task done so fast, sometimes the quality is lacking. Just as the procrastinator rushed to get it done last minute, the precrastinator rushed to get it done right away.
As a precrastinator, I have high energy right at the start of a project. I want to get working on it, my brain juices are flowing, and I feel passionate about the project. However, as time goes on, I run out of steam and start to get burnt-out. Thus, I finish the project as soon as I can and have it out of my way. I rush to get things done on my to-do list and hate when that list is full. Due date anxiety is also something I suffer from. As the date gets closer towards a due date, if my project isn’t finished or close to finished, I begin to feel anxiety. I rarely finish things on the last day, they are usually done the day before. If an email pops into my inbox or I have a message notification, I have to respond to it right away or do the task that it outlines. I will drop what I am doing to answer an email or complete a task I feel compelled to finish. I struggle to let things sit in my inbox unopened. As you can imagine, working with procrastinators on projects is a difficult task. My portion of the project is done before my partner is even started. When the day before it’s due comes and my partner has just started working on the project, my stress level rises!
If you are reading this and you are a procrastinator, precrastination might sound like a trait you wished you had. However, I think there is a balance between the two. As a precrastinator, I find it hard to disconnect from work. If there is a task that needs to get done, I will probably feel the need to complete it before taking on a personal task. I try to schedule my time so that I can reassure myself that the task will get done on time and I can still have time to do self-care without feeling the need to continue doing work. I guess you could call me impatient. I like things to be done right away. As a precrastinator, I am working on taking deep breaths, setting boundaries, and letting less important emails sit for a day without being answered. If you are a precrastinator like me in a world full of procrastinators, just know you are not alone.