In a recent New York Times article, Charlotte Lieberman writes: “Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.”
This was a breakthrough for me. Why do I continually procrastinate when it comes to say, writing this piece about procrastination (which I have been doing for so long now. Ironic, yes?) yet I have all the energy and time to color code my socks and underwear, or to educate myself on the history of the Slinky? I know, now you’re curious, so here you go: HistoryoftheSlinky
In essence, we procrastinate because there is something negative related to the task we are avoiding. It’s not that we are lazy. There is something in us that needs to be healed.
Tim Urban gives an entertaining and illuminating Ted Talk called Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, which is definitely worth the watch. He proposes a theory that we are all procrastinators and we don’t often see the bigger picture of how these evasive actions are affecting our lives.
How do we move beyond this?
Awareness is key. If we can be with the discomfort that arises at the start of procrastination, then we can delve into the feelings and emotions surrounding it. Then, we can determine what we can do to heal. Each time I have tried this, it has worked. The results are incredible. Not only do I get to heal a part of me that has been neglected or hidden, but I inevitably end up completing the task that I initially dreaded.
This article is proof. I dealt with the discomfort, healed the part of me that was asking for attention, and now, I get to share this with all of you. So the next time you notice you are procrastinating, I hope you’ll remember that it is a perfect opportunity to heal some aspect of yourself.
Believe in yourself. I do. :)