I often hear people saying, with a tinge of frustration, how they procrastinate too much.
Alas, there are times when we truly feel like doing nothing – being lazy. It happens to everyone. I’m not talking about one of those instances. You know what I’m talking about. One sentence we often utter more often than we’d like:
Oh, I know I should do (fill in your blank).
There are, of course, endless number of tips and tricks when it comes to overcoming our procrastination. All we need to do is find a tactic that works for us, and then ‘doing’ becomes a habit and, well, Bob’s your uncle, and I don’t even need to write this post. Yes? Or maybe no…
What I suggest instead, especially when no amount of tips and tricks seems to help, is to ask the question:
What bad thing would happen if I were to complete this task that I’m currently putting off?
You may have what you perceive to be very valid or downright rational answers to that question. And you believe those answers (without questioning them). The point is to get to the bottom of your real reason and continue to question:
If that (whatever the consequence might be) were to happen, what does it really mean for me?
Dr Orna Guralnik, the psychoanalyst, often comments how there’s always something lurking under the expression of ‘anger’. Similarly, what I often find is there are more profound reasons under the surface of our tendencies towards procrastination.
Let me share mine with you. Years ago, I hated the idea of getting my photos done and posting them online. I used to think:
“They will reject me because I don’t look great in photos.”
Then I’d asked:
“Is that really true?”
“Are you absolutely certain?”
“What happens if they do reject me?”
Answer? Nothing. Nothing that would be so serious as to cripple me.
When I ran out of reasons and resistance, what was left? What was left for me was what is left for everyone in that situation, and that is to take the very first step, whatever it is in the given project because it is no longer a big deal.
What stops you from getting it done? Would you have a go at getting to the root of your procrastination (for your important something)?