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Befriending Procrastination: 3 Things Its Trying to Tell You

Sometimes you have a friend or partner or even child for that matter, who doesn’t act on their best behavior. You don’t just end the relationship or give the child away for minor annoyances. You attempt to figure out their intention, have compassion and learn to forgive.

The same can be said with procrastination.

How so?

Procrastination: putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate  attention (via Dictionary.com).

Sometimes putting off something isn’t just about you being lazy. Sometimes there’s more to the story than that.

 

What Procrastination Would Tell You if It Could

1. I’m tired. Leave me alone.

Have you been working yourself to the bone? Procrastination is just your an inner child screaming, “Hey, give me a break!” Maybe you’ve neglected other projects because you’re just too tired and drained to get to it.

The solution?

Schedule in some fun time ASAP!

2. I just don’t want to.

You promised a friend you would pick up their dry cleaning or write a guest post. Maybe you agreed to do something out of friendly obligation. But it’s been weeks since you’ve done anything. Maybe there’s a part of you that really doesn’t want to do it. In this case, think of procrastination as a friend reminding you what you’re real priorities are. Embrace it.

3. I’m scared.

Fear is a biggie. You know how much I love talking about it on the blog. Sometimes we avoid things (e.g. the stack of unpaid bills) because we’re scared about facing it. And that’s okay. But acknowledging that procrastination is only a friend helping you to uncover what you’re afraid of dealing with, can be helpful. It may turned a scary nightmare into a dream come true.

Maybe you’re afraid of success. In reaction, you’ve taken jobs beneath your talent.

Maybe you’re afraid of failure and that’s why you’re working yourself to the bone.

Once you discover what procrastination is masking, you can learn ways to treat it like you would a friend: listen non-judgmentally, try to understand their intention, be compassionate and forgive them. When you do that, you’ll learn to see procrastination as a gift. One that might get you closer to your dreams.

If you need more help on managing your fears, this might help.

What do you think procrastination is trying to tell you?

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5 thoughts on “Befriending Procrastination: 3 Things Its Trying to Tell You”

  • Wow, these are great food for thought. I relate to the fear one. Usually, my procrastination is about life purpose things. When I’m not taking action, it’s because I know that it will change me in a big way. Of course, sometimes, my inner child wants to play too. Heehee! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Lisa! Great that you already had that insight. I think it took me awhile to figure out that procrastination wasn’t just an annoying habit that I couldn’t get rid of.

  • Hi Brandi,
    What a great breakdown on why we procrastinate. I tend to fall in the “not having enough fun” category. I have lists of things to do but if I don’t take a break and have a little fun I start dragging my feet. Your post reminded me to honor this feeling. Life is supposed to be fun, too!
    Sherrie

    • Hi Sherrie,

      Yes it’s a reminder for me too! I started to do little things throughout my day to add fun and play. Things like writing with a crayon, really letting loose in my dance class, walking almost every day. I think that inner child is still within us and will stop our “progress” if we don’t listen to it every once in awhile. =) Thanks for the comment and glad it helped!

  • I can definitely relate to all three and agree that it is important to take notice of what the procrastination is masking. For me it’s usually saying “get up from the computer and have some fun!”

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