Perfectionism = Procrastination

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Disclaimer: This post talks about the specific relationship between being a perfectionist and a procrastinator. It is not about general ways to avoid procrastination.  Please refer to another one of our blog posts for that: https://wspucla.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/monday-money-avoid-procrastination/

As UCLA students, we all have the potential to be strong writers, although sometimes it may not feel like it – like when we receive poor grades on papers. It is easy to become discouraged, especially in a setting where you’re pressured to always be at your best; to turn in every assignment and score highly on all your exams. Even if you aren’t a natural perfectionist, you are in a setting where you feel like you can’t afford to mess up.

The truth? You can afford to mess up. Especially with regards to writing. The only way to improve at writing is to keep practicing and keep churning out less than perfect essays. It doesn’t feel too good getting a C+ on a paper, but it means that there is always room for growth. It means that you turned in the paper. It means that you wrote. I know that this is easier said than done. It’s been my experience that no matter how hard I try to follow the steps that have been laid out on how to avoid procrastination and just write, my “I need this to be perfect” voice gets the best of me.

The first and perhaps most important step in getting yourself to write is this: Acknowledge your fear of turning in something mediocre. 

Yes, just acknowledge it. And hopefully this will lead to you recognizing that you are not defined by the sentences you concoct, but by the effort you put into your craft and/or education. And maybe then you can start writing.

For an in-depth article on why writers procrastinate, check out this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/why-writers-are-the-worst-procrastinators/283773/

Post submitted by Kanyin

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