What is the opposite of a person who leaves everything until the last minute, the oh-so-common procrastinator? Well it may not be an official Merriam Webster word just yet, but we think Precrastinator is bound to be a major term of our times. As young professionals (YPs), we know all about the stress of getting things done, and for many of us the solution to that stress is completing tasks and fulfilling responsibilities ahead of time, before they’re even due. Alas: the PREcrastinator. In true Notable fashion, we’ve broken down this happening new hashtag to find out just how precrastination may be affecting us and our daily YP lives. Are you a precrastinator? Here are the pros, the cons, and our verdict:
1. You get sh*t done! Being a pre-doer of all things means that you can be relied upon by others and yourself to get the job done. Whether it’s a big project at work or a small favour for a friend, you are likely to get it taken care of before you or they even have a moment to worry about it.
2. You put out fires before they’re even a problem: By doing things ahead of time, inevitable problems that often arise will likely rear their ugly heads before they’re even a big deal. If being a problem solver is a big part of your role at work or within your family, precrastinating helps to ease that high-stress position.
3. You look super responsible: Bosses, parents, and high-maintenance pals and partners love precrastinators. By nature, our society associates being a go-getter with being a good person, and so our world rewards YPs who take initiative and seem to overly care about their commitments.
4. You can fully enjoy your downtime: Probably one of the best features of being a precrastinator is the inherent need to get work and all other obligations completely out of the way before playtime can feel genuinely deserved. For many precrastinating YPs, downtime has to be earned, and only when all impending projects are completed can stress-free fun be fully enjoyed.
1. You jump the gun: On the other hand, one of the negative by-products of precrastination is that YPs attempting to get things done ahead of time often do so without all the necessary tools, info, context, etc. Precrastination is of course a bit of an impulse control issue, and can lead one to rush to simply get the task over with rather than completed correctly.
2. A precrastinator’s work is never done: For precrastinators in search of that magical state of all-work-completed, there is also the issue that such a place can never truly be found. There will always be another day and another task. You can pre-do all you want but if you are working toward that feeling of pure satisfaction, you’ll be pre-working forever.
3. You miss the moment: Precrastinators live almost exclusively in the future. They worry about the upcoming and attempt to trump that worry before it even fully forms. This leaves the current moment, the beautiful here and now, completely off your radar. Living in the moment – such an important part of mental and emotional wellbeing – is already tough enough, never mind adding the need to pre-do all future endeavors.
4. You are stressed the F out! Finally, and most importantly, the biggest downer of precrastination is that it is rooted in a much deeper place of anxiety. The need to control the future, to get things done in order to ease a potential anxiety, is a serious issue that cannot be cured by being on top of things at all times. Allowing what will be to be is a very freeing feeling, but one that is extremely hard for some to achieve. Being responsible for the future is an impossible task, and one that all the precrastinating in the world will never actually help you accomplish.
Overall, being a precrastinator has its benefits, like being a productive and reliable person and putting work before play. But like with most issues faced by today’s YPs, it’s best to take on a more balanced approach. It’s OK to want to get things done ahead of time to then be able to enjoy a long weekend without the weight of work on your shoulders, or to pack for a trip a few days in advance if it’ll help you sleep a little better. But stressing out about pre-doing things in order to avoid potential anxiety is counterproductive and no way to live. Thankfully, there are a myriad of ways to learn how to better live in the moment and how to harness that anxiety. So do the research, seek out pro assistance if necessary, and enjoy your time as both a responsible but also occasionally care-free YP.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
Cover image: Contactzilla.com
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