Here's your detailed report.

Your Main Procrastination Type is Busywork

What is it?

If you tend to engage in busywork then you most likely feel productive all the time but don’t get much done. Busywork is a form of procrastination that feels productive in the moment because, technically, the busy-worker is doing something but that something has little or no lasting impact in the grand scheme of things. Busywork gives the illusion of productivity and the excuse to tell ourselves "I'm busy right now and working hard."

It is the act of being busy while simultaneously procrastinating on your most important tasks. Even though the busy-worker might be working 8 to 10 hours a day and feel productive, no actual productive work, work that moves the busy-worker towards their big-pictures, is taking place.

Why does it happen?

People fall into the trap of busywork because it's difficult to detect when you are engaged in it. When you engage in normal procrastination, you realize that you're doing it. But when you fall into the trap of busywork, it's difficult to realize it because you're keeping yourself busy by working on a lot of different to-do's and things that "need to get done". 

What does it feel like?

When you're busy and getting a lot of tasks done, it feels very productive. You feel good about yourself. In fact, our brain rewards us for this kind of behaviour because dopamine (the pleasure hormone) is released in our brain when we're working on a lot of different tasks, thus further incentivizing us to continue working this way.

Even though we feel productive and good about all the low-impact tasks we're doing, the end result is that we're not working on our most important tasks that actually move the needle forward. That's why busywork is considered a trap and a form of procrastination.

One of the reasons behind this could be the belief that "hard work equals success". That is not necessarily true. Yes, hard work can be a component of success but only when the hard work being done is on the right tasks and activities. It doesn't matter how hard you work if you're working on the wrong things.

It is important to note the difference between being busy and being productive.
  • Being busy means you're spending a lot of time and effort on certain tasks. But those tasks could be irrelevant in the big picture of achieving your goals.
  • Being productive means you're working on tasks that move the needle forward and take you closer to your end goal.

Your Possible Root Cause is Perfectionism

What is it?

Perfectionism is a trait that turns life into an endless list of accomplishments. Healthy perfectionism can be self-motivating and drive you to overcome adversity and achieve success. But in its unhealthy form, it can be a root cause of unhappiness. 

Why does it happen?

The primary motivation behind perfectionism is internal pressure. Pressure like the desire to avoid failure or harsh judgement. It is possible that there is a social component to perfectionism as well. Perfectionistic tendencies have increased substantially amongst younger people over the last 30 years, regardless of gender or culture.

Increased academic and professional competition is thought to play a part in this as well as the increased penetration of social media in our daily lives. Seeing other people living their best lives on social media forces us to compare our imperfect lives with theirs and increases our internal pressure to appear perfect.

What does it feel like?

Perfectionism — in its unhealthy or extreme form — is toxic because, although the perfectionist desires success, they are ultimately focused on avoiding failure. Perfectionists don't believe in unconditional love because they expect to receive love and affection only if they have given a flawless performance.

Perfectionists have unrealistically high expectations of themselves and others. They are quick to find faults and are extremely critical of mistakes. They procrastinate out of fear of failure and are unable to receive compliments and often don't celebrate their successes. Instead, they look to specific people for approval and validation.

Unhealthy perfectionism is often fuelled by fear of failure, feeling unworthy, having low self-esteem, and adverse childhood experiences. Perfection is an impossibility in reality. Striving for perfection can be very motivating and lead to excellent outcomes. But when this is taken too far, this striving can lead to negative consequences like procrastination, avoiding challenges, rigid 'all-or-nothing' thinking, toxic comparisons, and a lack of creativity.

Perfectionism, like any personality trait, exists on a spectrum and people usually lie somewhere in the middle of the two extremities. Like most traits, perfectionism has its pros and cons. On the positive side of things, perfectionism can push people to be their best and strive to give their maximum performance. On the negative side, it can lead to being overly critical, harsh, and judgemental of themselves and others.

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