This article is part of the series mental barriers and behaviors that are getting in the way of positive change.
The bane of my existence. The thorn in my pride. A pain in the a** (for others).
Say it with me. “I am a procrastinator”.
Now, for those that aren’t procrastinators, I say congratulations. I have no ill will towards you. My wife is a non-procrastinator and I derive endless inspiration from her tireless energy to “get things done”.
For the rest of my procrastinating brethren, I offer this list to help with your understanding of what procrastination is not. Not so we can procrastinate more and push-off responsibility, but so we can shed light on what gets in the way and be more honest with ourselves. It makes more sense to OWN our procrastination, and what we feel with it, and allow it to guide us to use more of our energies doing what we love.
There is a tendency to feel guilt and shame around the subject of procrastination because we associate it with being LAZY.
Here is a list of reasons that suggest your procrastination has NOTHING to do with being lazy:
1. You don’t like boring routine tasks.
Nobody does, but for you it’s excruciating. The more importance and meaning a task has for you, the easier it is for you to do.
2. You have a waning attention span.
It’s hard for your attention to not go to things that are attractive to you. These are things that you don’t procrastinate on. They’re fun and entertaining.
3. There is a level of anxiety about starting tasks.
Maybe you are a perfectionist and there has to be a set amount of time for you to just start the task. The thought of starting something and then stopping in the middle of it gives you and your perfectionist side anxiety.
4. You are a creative type.
I’ve found that the most creative people who I know are procrastinators. There seems to be a positive correlation between creative energies and procrastinating, maybe for the same reason as with ADD and creativity.
5. You are successful at many areas of your life and don’t procrastinate in those.
At work, being a parent, coordinating nights out with your friends. You excel in these areas and you AREN’T A LAZY PERSON. Getting the basement organized? Not much excelling going on there.
Obviously, we all want to get better at being more proactive in getting things done and addressing the necessities of life.
But what if we’ve been looking in the wrong places to get us over the hump? Reading books on how to get organized at home doesn’t work if you’re already organized and motivated at work, for example. And we know self shaming and blaming doesn’t work either.
What are ways you’ve been able to successfully view, manage, or improve your procrastination?
About the Author
John Harrison is a licensed health counselor and coach. He works with individuals and couples to help them get unstuck. He helps empower them in getting what they want out of life and assists struggling souls done tolerating their old ways of navigating their world.