Procrastination is a hot topic that is easily misunderstood. A lot of people believe that procrastination is the cause of all the productivity problems we have, but I am here to challenge that.
Procrastination is not the problem: it’s a symptom of other issues taking up space in your life that need to be resolved. In its root, procrastination is a coping mechanism that offers us stress relief from tasks and responsibilities that feel painful. More specifically, procrastination manifests as a habitual short-term escape from negative emotions connected with a task or a decision.
The solution to procrastination has nothing to do with discipline, willpower, or time management. The only thing in this world you can manage is, you guessed it, YOURSELF. Your mindset, feelings and actions determine what you accomplish or don’t accomplish, how you feel about yourself & your life.
Today, Habit & procrastination coach gives to give you a taster with her most powerful questions in tackling the beast that we call Procrastination. These 3 questions help target the source of most procrastination.
Let’s break down why these questions are important, shall we?
What is hiding behind my procrastination? What am I really avoiding? Maybe it is fear of not being able to do something successfully, or not being better at it than someone else.
This question will help uncover the emotions you have, or stories you tell yourself, that are making it hard to start or do the work. This is an opportunity to be honest with yourself. Really look at how much of it is real, and how much of it is just limiting, negative thinking. What voices/stories are you avoiding?
Where is the resistance coming from? What’s making it hard to start?
Get to the root of the matter. Maybe you’re not sure how to solve a problem and worry it will take forever to do. One solution is to break it down into smaller chunks that don’t feel overwhelming to complete. More often than not, we don’t start something because our mind is jumping ahead, and we haven’t taken the time to think through what really needs to get done. Suddenly, the task is a huge scary monster that’s way overwhelming.
Breaking down the task into simple, bite size steps offers us not only relief but clarity, which makes it MUCH easier to start.
What am I really afraid of? What might happen if I try?
You have the opportunity to defeat your fear. There is something powerful when we encourage ourselves to stay positive. This mindset will help you identify more situations that will allow you to thrive.Sometimes we procrastinate because we are afraid of the outcome of the task more than the task itself. If we believe a bad thing will happen, we won’t do it in order to avoid feeling bad.
Get clear on what you are really afraid of, acknowledge it and give yourself the safety you need. Lastly, remember, you aren’t lazy or weak if you procrastinate; it is so much deeper than that. Having shame around our habits isn’t helpful for overcoming them. Knowledge, context and small aligned action are the key to breaking the habit once and for all.