I love working with procrastinators.
Everyone has their own reasons why they procrastinate.
Some of the more common causes I hear are fear of success or failure, a desire for perfection, indecision paralysis, or just not being clear on where to start.
All of which can surely play a role in developing a habit of procrastination.
And yet after working with procrastinators for over a decade I’ve noticed two solid trends:
– Procrastinators spend a lot of time figuring out why they procrastinate
– Analyzing the why is another form of procrastination
So here is surprising reason #1: You don’t really need to know why
One reason why you procrastinate is because you think you need to know why you procrastinate in order to move forward.
Let’s be clear: You Don’t.
Not really. Insights into our behavior can be useful but insights are very different than endless analysis and rumination. Insights occur to you. You can’t think your way into an insight. They arise.
You can however create more space for insights by letting your thinking be rather than spending so much time trying to push your thinking one way or another.
Surprising reason #2: You’re exhausted
The other trend I’ve noticed over the years is that people often miss how deeply connected their energy levels are to their capacity to move projects forward.
Low Energy = More Procrastination
Procrastinators have a tendency to make themselves wrong first. They see what they aren’t doing and get frustrated that they haven’t gotten everything done yet. It becomes a character flaw.
They miss the fact that their energy capacity isn’t aligned with their to-do list.
It’s like blaming a car for not being able to drive without any gas.
It doesn’t make sense.
Get sleep. Take a vacation. Hire a babysitter. Take a nap.
Notice just how much less you procrastinate when you aren’t completely exhausted or burned out.
Surprising reason #3: You’ve decided you’re a procrastinator
No one is born a procrastinator. It isn’t innate to your personality. It isn’t YOU. You are far bigger, deeper, more than any one behavior, habit, thought, or feeling.
When we get locked into a particular idea about ourselves – that we procrastinate – we turn up the volume on that channel. Our radar goes into overdrive scanning for all the things we aren’t doing. Regardless of whether or not it makes sense for us to be doing those tasks at that time.
We build a case against ourselves.
Because this radar is tuned into to seeing what you don’t do it misses all that you do get done. All the ways in which you move yourself forward every day is invisible to you.
I encourage you to look beyond what you think you know and start to pay more attention to what is actually being accomplished. Stop buying so completely into your own story. I promise you there is more to see beyond what you think.
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