Today is DAY 1 of my series: "Procrastination To Profit!"
First, we're answering, WHY do we procrastinate, anyway?
This is such a great question and lots of people have answers such as “working faster/better under pressure” (used it!), "being too busy" (yep), or "not knowing where to start" (uh-huh).
But none of these are actually it. So what is procrastination REALLY about? Where does it come from?
Simple: Procrastination is about unresolved emotions (Nick Ortner).
Most commonly, these are anxiety, fear of failure, feeling overwhelmed, and these are often tied in with perfectionism.
Often people who procrastinate are extremely capable and intelligent but are being derailed and held back by this habit!
Let's look at some examples.
I don’t want to reach out, pitch myself, offer my services, etc. because I want it to be perfect and I'm scared that it won't be (fear).
I’m afraid of the response (or non-response) when I send this email, or this is too big of a project, so I’m just going to keep putting it off because I never have time to do it RIGHT or all at once (overwhelm, anxiety, fear).
Or my avowed favorite...
If I put it off until the last minute, then if it isn’t perfect, I can say it was because I didn’t give it my best effort or didn’t have time!
Then I’d go read some article about 32 ways to get more done, be more productive, etc., etc., etc. And while they alll seemed like great ideas, and I thought, "YEAH, totally!!!," and I'd save or pin the article, declaring that THIS was the time I'd finally implement, the truth was, those strategies didn’t work for me because it was emotions causing the actions, not me just needing more structure. Addressing the emotions is what allowed me to move through it and become amazingly productive.
Most of us are not conscious of all of this going on, and we often think there's something bad or wrong with us. The truth is, our subconscious minds, which control our emotions, are fully 90% of our brains--our rational, analytical minds are ONLY 10%. So, if we have some strong negative emotion battling our conscious mind, what’s going to win?
So now that I've explained this, can you let some of the "I’m a bad person" judgment stuff go?
Does this make sense for you? Can you relate, and if so, what emotion(s) do you feel that cause you to procrastinate? What project or task is this showing up in right now?