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.
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.
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?