Do you put off doing the things that are really important to you? Do you sometimes feel anxious or guilty because you just can't get yourself to do what you need or want to do? Is your procrastination driving your family, friends and/or co-workers crazy?Procrastination can take a surprisingly high toll on your life, causing stress, illness and low self-esteem. It can keep you from attaining your goals and fulfilling your dreams.If you are a procrastinator, you might answer "yes" to one or more of these questions:

  • Are you consistently rushing to meet deadlines, feeling stressed about upcoming meetings, discoveries and/or trials that you are not yet prepared for? Are you behind in your billings, are files a mess, are you behind in reporting letters? Are late with your practice filings?
  • Do you have a file, or files, that you have difficulty getting to or that you get anxious even thinking about? Do you have a file, or files, that you think about so consistently that concentration on other files becomes difficult?
  • Do you find yourself fearing answering the phone because you don't want to have to explain what you haven't done?
  • Do you want to start an exercise program, or begin other healthy habits, or set up an appointment with your doctor or dentist, but you never do?
  • Are you losing the battle against clutter on your desk, dining room table, counters, closets or floors? Does the chaos in the space around you seem to create chaos in your mind and your spirit, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, out of control and exhausted?
  • Do you pay late fees because you put off routine personal finance chores? Are you paying so much money to catch-up that you never get ahead?

The practice of law provides endless opportunities for procrastination. There are many deadlines and a great deal of pressure as well as a good deal of autonomy.Procrastination can be defined as delaying task completion to the point of experiencing subjective discomfort. There are many causes, and even more remedies. The causes of procrastination can range from a bad habit to an indication of a serious illness or disorder. Since the negative consequences of procrastination can, and usually do, become severe, it is important to look at the problem and begin an exploration into the causes and remedies.

Procrastination is not usually the basic "problem", but rather an attempted, and ineffective, "cure" for fears, self-doubts, overwork and/or dislike of (or lack of interest in) the work. Most procrastinators will want to examine the real problems - underlying fears, attitudes, beliefs, any conflicting values or any irrational ideas - in order to overcome the procrastinating behaviour. For some people, support to overcome a bad habit will be sufficient.