Why do we put off what we know we want? Why do we make it so darn hard to do those little things that call us? Or those big things? When all we really want to do is “Get in Gear”…
The “P” Word. Procrastination. The word I say to myself when I am not somehow meeting my own standards.
What I might say to myself is, “You are so lame, you Procrastinator, you! You’re just a “Lazy-blah-blah” and need to get in gear!” But let’s get clear here. When your inner voice is talking to you in the third person like you are someone else, that is the part of yourself that is called the Internal Critic, a.k.a. The Sabateour. That is NOT the real you, the one who is your Essential Self. That’s something else. There is something you are waiting to see.
And since this is National Procrastination Week when I was planning this blog last Saturday it seemed timely to “jump right in” and dismiss some of the MYTHS around Procrastination. But before I get to that I have to acknowledge my own procrastination in writing and publishing this blog.
I have a self- imposed deadline for posting every Tuesday, but for some reason I could not sit down until Tuesday evening at “5:00 o’clock somewhere” real time. I just couldn’t get in gear to do it. “JUST DO IT” Nike says so eloquently. And yet the truth is that if you want to implement a change that is going to stick you have to go through the contemplation stage. That means that you have to think through all the reasons for doing it – the benefits, negatives, pros and cons, impacts on many levels, the whole “shebang”. Without the contemplation phase when you finally do jump in and Just Do It without any real in-depth planning, you might find yourself derailing. There must have been something I hadn’t thought through…
Now in truth, you can stay way too long in contemplation, hence the Just Do It advice. Generally, when you stay too long and get into the analysis of paralysis it’s usually some unspoken fear of the unknown that is holding you back. And that fear fakes you out to make you think it is real when it’s just an illusion.
But to get back to the point of this tome.
When I actually got down to writing I found as I searched the web there were oodles of info on procrastination and its many myths. That was it. I hadn’t gotten down to the research but when I did I found so much valuable input.. Where to begin?
Here are a few Myths busted by NBC’s Kelsey Butler, posted May 24, 2017 about procrastination and productivity:
- Myth: People who put off finishing a task to the last minute are procrastinators.
- In her article Kelsey explains how you are not a procrastinator if you put it off but at the same time know you can pull it off. And do. That’s not procrastination. From her article: “[Procrastination] is knowing you should work today but saying ‘I don’t feel like it, I’m going to do something else instead.’”
- Myth: Laziness is the root cause of procrastination. You’ve heard it said, “So-and-so’is just lazy because he just won’t get started”.
- Research shows that laziness has nothing to do with it. Procrastination is an avoidance issue. It really has more to do with “emotional management.” I really loved that one and definitely identify with that one regarding this post.
- Myth: It is a genetic factor passed down to family members.
- It’s explained nicely in the article…suppose you have a demanding and distant parent who sets a high bar but allows for little wiggle room in achievement; Or forgiveness if you fail. You will unconsciously put things off for lack of confidence in your ability to successfully achieve the task and meet the bar. This one makes perfect sense. After all, if the expectations are really high with no ability to meet them, who wants to try.
You get the picture…there are lots of reasons why you put things off…maybe you don’t know how to chunk a project down into do-able tasks.
When I first saw this picture I couldn’t help laughing…at myself…it reminded me how often I told my own kids when they were young to just go clean their rooms. I somehow thought they should know how by osmosis, without teaching them how to chunk it down into smaller projects. Their rooms never got this bad, but…It made me think! What about you? Is this something you do or did as well? Is this an area you might ask for help in? Ask a friend to help you think through how to chunk out that next project. But back to procrastination…
Maybe you just don’t feel like you have the time to look beneath the surface at yourself or the other guy. Often categorizing yourself or someone else as a “Lazy-blah-blah Procrastinator” makes it easier to not take a closer look. There are so many reasons why we all procrastinate.
What I loved about this article is that it got to the root causes of why people delay, why we All delay, and the difference between delay and true procrastination.
I am a big believer in not re-inventing the wheel, especially when the wheel has so been so beautifully researched and built out. So, click on this link to read the real deal from Kelsey Butler, then Just Do it! ~ and later when The Sabateour inside your mind begins to call you a “Lazy-blah-blah” just tell it “Thanks so much for sharing but, please, either take a rest or just shut-up and sit down”. After all, you have better things to do. Like