How many times have you put off writing that article, enrolling in that class or going to the gym? I can guess if you are human like me you have done it so many times you lost count already, so you have finally resigned to fate, giving up on reading about that new productivity hack or time management app on the block. Maybe even people around you have pronounced their verdict about you, you are just plain lazy they say! You have heard too many times you now believe you are truly lazy, I mean how else can you explain your sloppiness right?
Well I have news for you today and that is to tell you to see procrastination for what it is, it is a symptom not a root cause. The reason why nothing seems to have worked in helping you overcome your proscrastination is that it is a symptom of an underlying problem, just like a rise in body temperature is a symptom of something happening inside your body and not the disease itself. Identifying the root cause of why you procrastinate is half of the battle won because as you understand the underlying emotion(s), you are able to come up with suitable strategy to combat it.
The first root cause of procrastination is fear! Yes you read that right…for some it is the fear of failure, of looking stupid, of being ridiculed or laughed at but for others it is the fear of success. A lot of times, the human mind soak up the negative occurrences and conveniently forget the positives. That is why emotional wellness is a journey, we have to continually put in effort in checking that our thoughts, beliefs and values align with who we truly are. Can you remember a time you have been working hard for a promotion and the moment you are given the promotion and a new assignment you suddenly develop a cold feet? That is because your mind suddenly recalls that one time you failed though it was fifty years ago, then fear creeps in and you begin to doubt your ability to perform well. Another instance was that time you deliberately pulled back so that your light won’t shine too bright and be perceived as proud. Your mind might actually be sabotaging your work😏. Fear is emotion-based and reinforces a negative or limiting belief. So you might be procrastinating on that business idea because you think you don’t have the abilities to successfully execute or you are still stuck on that one experience of failure you had in your childhood. Failure is an event not a person!
Another very interesting reason for procrastination is perfectionism. Some people are perfectionist and would waste so much time trying to write the perfect book, paint the perfect picture that it only lives in their heart. Listen girlfriend! Nothing in life is perfect, change your view because the most beautiful things in life are imperfect. Perfection lies only in your head. Sometimes you are not able to make sense of a piece of work, at other times the ideas are all jumbled in your head but discussing with someone gives you clarity. So have a second and trusted opinion before you push it into the recess of your mind. Perfectionism leads to anxiety and low self-esteem because you will be too hard on yourself and others around you.
Thirdly fatigue leads to procrastination. There are times in life when we have our plate full and burning out but we keep pushing. Maybe because you want that validation, approval or endorsement but you are already running on empty. It mostly happen when someone has low self-esteem, think love is given based on performance or seeking validation. Low or drained battery is a killer of productivity, know when to take the step back and recharge.
Finally, lack of organisational, planning or prioritisation skills. Unfortunately these skills are not taught in the classrooms but are important through every stage of life. Every aspect of your life requires planning, organising and prioritising. It is pertinent to know when to do what, have a structure and a process so that life becomes much easier. I understand there were times you need to be more flexibility but it will help you get so much more done.
Now you see that most procrastination is not done out of laziness but there is an internal battle raging on in your mind. Trust me the world has gone beyond living in a cocoon, reach out to someone if you are a procrastinator. Send me a message and we can set up a clarity session for you for free❤️…Have a procrastination free week!