Thoughts on Prepping, Procrastination and Perfectionism

I don’t like to think of myself as a procrastinator, but I do it more than I’m comfortable with. A friend calls my procrastination dithering because I’m indecisive and I put off what I know I should do.

There is a connection to prepping, so bear with me for a minute.

I’ve heard writers say they can stare at their computer screen for hours before writing anything. I can’t do that. After a few minutes I get up and do something else.

What I’m contemplating may roll around in my head for a while. Or maybe I divert myself and put it out of mental reach. I can come back later with fresh perspective.

Then later I realize I didn’t get a blog post written. But it’s easy to justify it because I can say, “Well, I was gardening, and that has to be done sometime.” Or maybe I was messing with computer code to update an ad here at DestinySurvival, and that needs to be done, too.

The point is, it’s easy to rationalize why I haven’t done something, while staying busy and seemingly productive at the same time.

Someone has called this tactic productive procrastination.

Can you relate to this, particularly as it relates to preparedness? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done or how much money it will cost to buy a year’s supply of storage food. So you do other things and put it out of your mind.

Would you believe it if I said you might be a perfectionist? At least in this one area. But if you’re waiting for X amount of dollars or enough time to devote to a given task, it will never happen.

An Internet marketing mentor I once knew said “Perfectionism kills.” When it comes to prepping, he may be right–literally.

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination, and procrastination can lead to paralysis. And if you do nothing…

It’s time to let yourself be imperfect and take one little step at a time. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Anything you do now is better than nothing.

OK, so you can’t afford a year’s supply of long term storage food right now. Can you add a few small items and slowly build your survival pantry? Can you buy a couple packages of dry soup mix or a bag of navy beans when you go grocery shopping next time?

Sure you can.

What about finances? If you’re digging out of debt, you don’t think you have any money to spare. Believe me, I know the feeling. But can you focus in on something as small as putting $10 in a savings account each paycheck? Don’t have ice cream cones at McDonald’s as often with the kids.

In a few weeks you’ll have enough set aside to buy a good LED flashlight or a weather radio to put with your survival supplies.

You can do this. Set aside your anxiety and self doubt. Take baby steps. Keep your goals small and attainable. Don’t worry if you don’t reach even a small goal. Try again or focus on something else within reach. This means changing or lowering your expectations. That’s OK.

Our lives must be lived in less than perfect circumstances. It may be hard to accept, but it’s true. If there’s a disaster or major disruption to life as we know it, you’ll look back longingly and wish for today with all its present imperfections.

That’s why you’re better off taking small actions now. It’s the way to add a little stability to an uncertain tomorrow.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15-16, words of the Apostle Paul, Holy Bible, King James Version


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.