Breaking the Procrastination Cycle

March 21, 2021

This week we're talking about procrastination.

Most of us procrastinate in certain areas of our life. 

But if you do it on the regular in your career, it’s likely holding you back and that’s why I wanted to explore why we procrastinate, how it affects us and, more importantly, what we can do about it.

So, let’s dive in.

We all know that procrastination means “to put off doing something.”

But it’s also interesting to know that procrastination comes from the ancient Greek word “akrasia” which means “doing something against our better judgment.”

When we procrastinate in doing something, we know we’re not only avoiding the task, but that it’s probably not a great idea.

But we do it anyway.

And that's why procrastination does such a number on us, right?

Because when we do it, we not ONLY deal with the pain of not doing the thing we know we need to do, but we ALSO know that we procrastinated even though we KNEW it wasn’t a good idea. 

That by doing so, it might cost us in some way.  

So, if we know something might hurt us…why do we do it anyway?

Doing something we KNOW is going to have negative consequences isn’t logical. 

So that means there must be a powerful hidden driver BEHIND the procrastination that’s making us do it.

So, what is that?

Well, in the simplest of terms, we procrastinate because of how we feel about doing the task we need to do.

As we’ve discussed in earlier episodes, everything we do (or don’t do in this case) comes from how we feel. The emotions we experience motivate our actions.  

So, when we procrastinate, we’re likely feeling something like boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, overwhelm or self-doubt. Things like that.

And most of us believe that we feel that way BECAUSE of that thing you need to do.

But that’s NOT the reason.

The reason you have those feelings like boredom, anxiety or overwhelm is because of what you’re THINKING about that thing you need to do.

And those emotions are what is causing you to take the IN-action of procrastination. 

So, you are choosing to NOT do the task you think is causing you to feel those negative emotions because you are trying to DELAY having to experience those emotions.

And notice what you are probably doing INSTEAD of doing that thing.

Because usually It’s something SUPER indulgent.

Like maybe scrolling your social feed, bingeing on Netflix, browsing Amazon, going out with friends or whatever.  

In my practice, we call this buffering. 

Because it’s about doing things to soothe yourself or to avoid having to experience emotions that we don’t want to experience.

Listen to hear more.

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