Autism & Procrastination (3 tips to STOP PROCRASTINATING!)
Today, we are going to be talking about Autism and Procrastination! More specifically, I’ll be sharing my personal experience with procrastination as an autistic person, why I believe autistic people have difficulty executing tasks, and I am going to provide you with my top three tips for how to STOP procrastinating you so can actually get sh!t done! Be sure to share this post with anyone and everyone who you think could benefit from it, as it not only helps them, but also supports all the work I do as a content creator!
Most of the time, my mind feels like it’s going a thousand miles a minute. I am constantly planning on how to approach certain tasks, mentally scripting what I will say in conversations, brainstorming content ideas, and then going back to question every mental decision I *thought* I had made. Because I have so many thoughts going in so many different directions, I often find myself in a state of “analysis paralysis” when it comes to choosing what my next course of action will be.
I believe a large part of this paralyzing overwhelm is rooted in perfectionism. It is very common for autistic people to be perfectionists, as we can obsess over the tiniest details and may tie our sense of worth to specific results and/or approval from others.
When it comes to prioritizing and executing tasks, I tend to overthink which task is the “perfect” next task to do. I will mentally create pros and cons lists of several different items that need to get checked off my list, and then plan in which order to execute them based off my “evaluation”. This ongoing rumination results in even more overthinking, which is tied to the common autistic trait of perpetual anxiety.
Because I am constantly searching for the “perfect” moment to begin projects or tasks while at the same time trying to adjust the timing of other activities to fit everything into my schedule, I tend to procrastinate starting anything at all…because the perfect moment doesn’t exist!
Seemingly simple tasks tend to feel monumental for autistic people, commonly known as executive dysfunction. Unlike neurotypical people who can “just check something real quick” or “quickly respond to an email”, I often feel like I cannot approach a task until I have mentally planned it out first.
3 tips to stop procrastinating!
Although I still struggle a lot with this concept of feeling paralyzed by my thoughts and therefore having difficulty executing tasks, I have found strategies that help me JUST DO THE DAMN THING!
#1 Set an alarm
When I find myself procrastinating a specific project task for a while, I will set an alarm for a specific time/date that I must commit to doing that task.
Often, the cause of procrastination (and perfectionism) is rooted in fear of failure. If I have been putting something off due to fear that I will “mess up” or “fail” or that it “won’t be perfect”, I journal about it and ask myself “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” 99.9% of the time, this “worst” outcome isn’t as bad as we had mentally made it out to be!
#3 Scrap it or delegate it
If I’ve been procrastinating a specific task for a very long time, chances are it’s not that important. If this is the case, is it really necessary for it to take up precious space in your brain? If it IS important, ask someone to help you!