‘This Has to be Done First’ Syndrome

Image by Jean Carneiro

Despite what you might think from reading some of the articles on this website, I still struggle with procrastination on a daily basis.

Sometimes it can be quite debilitating.

Of course, I continually work on strategies to minimise the “damage”, but I’m no robot. There are regular periods where I DO procrastinate, and then I beat myself up over it.

Interestingly, the most insidious version of procrastination that I tend to experience is the one that starts off with the following thought pattern:

“I just have to do THIS first…”

Before you know it, another day has passed by, and the list of things you “must do first” doesn’t seem to have shrunk.

In many ways, this is similar to the “waiting for others” syndrome. The difference in this case, though, is that you’re not waiting on other people – you’re waiting for YOU. So you’re the bottleneck!

What’s the solution?

Put aside things that aren’t genuinely urgent, and do the things you actually WANT to do FIRST. Everything else can wait.

About Adam Wozniak

Adam Wozniak is the founder and writer of Encouragement from a Stranger. He believes in the importance of encouraging people to think, question things, and live life on their own terms. Or something like that... – www.AdamWozniak.com


  1. Nicky Moore says:

    I procrastinate when it comes to working on my own projects because I’m the one setting the deadlines. I don’t fear myself enough. Lol

  2. Adam Wozniak says:

    Hi Nicky,

    That’s a great point you raise. I’ve been battling this myself recently. Hmmm, I smell another blog post …