More than likely you’ve experienced procrastination. I have procrastinated far more than I care to admit. When we procrastinate, we experience a small hit of relief from whatever daunting task we are facing.
For me, procrastination looks like very important other things I need to do, like paying bills or organizing a drawer. Weird, huh? For you it may look like scrolling through your phone, talking on the phone, watching TV, or standing in the pantry when you’re not hungry.
I procrastinate with things that are easy, they take my mind off the harder thing I need to do. Maybe I need to create a project plan or a training program or find a speaker for a monthly program. When I consider the amount of time I’ve spent doing the mindless stuff instead of investing the energy in the things I need to do, it’s ridiculous. I wasted so much time, and usually created a fire drill for myself on the other end. Can you imagine if you actually did everything you said you wanted to do when you said you were going to do it?
So why do we do this?
We often confuse procrastination as a feeling, but it’s really an action based on a feeling you’re having. Our feelings or emotions drive our actions.
When you think a task is too hard or causes you a negative emotion, you may seek to avoid it. You procrastinate. When I first started blogging, I procrastinated a lot. The thought I was having was that I’m not a writer. I can remember telling my coach this several times. I’m not a writer. I don’t know how to write. Having this thought made me feel a lot of emotions, including fearfulness and powerlessness. The ability to write felt outside of my wheelhouse and capabilities, so I didn’t write. I cleaned my house. I researched how to podcast. I planned what to get my mother for Mother’s Day (in January). In my mind, these were also really important things that needed to get done. None of these tasks were helping me become a writer. Writing is what helps you write! I desperately wanted to blog. I wasted weeks. Procrastinating wasn’t getting me any closer to blogging.
Pull the thread of this thought…
There’s always going to be things in life we don’t want to do. I can think of several like doing the dishes, painting my front door, running to the post office, filing my taxes. Nevertheless, these things must get done. I can avoid them for a while, but eventually my house will stink, or I’ll be in prison for tax evasion.
You can stop procrastinating. You can proactivate! Proactivation is a made-up word by my coach. It means to cause something to happen versus reacting to something. If our feelings or emotions drive our actions, then we must first learn to feel differently so we can act differently.
Practivation is planning ahead of time to achieve the things you need to achieve and showing up for yourself. You make a plan to produce a result, put it on your calendar, and actually do the thing when it’s on your calendar. This is not time spent thinking about the thing – it’s actually producing the result.
This takes practice. I’ve got the tools to teach you how.
To learn more, click below to schedule a free strategy session with me.
P.S. Procrastination is the thief of time is amid-18th century proverbial saying meaning that someone who continually puts things off ultimately achieves little. The saying comes from Night Thoughts (1742–5) by the English poet and dramatist Edward Young (1683–1765).