I manage to fit unscheduled shopping sprees into my already busy timetable, visit people I haven’t seen for awhile or give them a ‘quick’ phone call. Sometimes I’ll even clean out the refrigerator, wardrobe, and any closet or room in the house – well they need cleaning and sorting sooner or later! If I had a dog I’d probably take it for a long walk, maybe give it a bath, clip its toenails, place ribbons in its hair – procrastinating can be fun!
The word procrastinates means to defer action, or put off (I’ll add dawdle and ‘hope it goes away’ as well). What’s interesting is the cras (adv) in procrastinator is the Latin word for tomorrow. To me this snippet of information means procrastinators have been around for a really, really, really long time! Wonder what strategies they applied back then.
When I drag my feet, and keep putting something off, at the back of my mind is a flicker of hope that someone else will step in and do for me what I’d rather not (like my accounting paperwork!).
There are many, many reasons someone procrastinates and also varying levels at which they do it. Underlying procrastination could be a fear of failure or fear of success, having no idea how to start or finish a project, being in a state of overwhelm, depression, finding things to be pointless, not motivated, or maybe, just maybe, sheer laziness.
What happens when you know there’s something you really should be doing instead of cleaning out the refrigerator again? Perhaps an assignment is due, bills are overdue, and filing needs to be done urgently because you can’t see your desk anymore. My guess is your frustration and stressometer starts rising rapidly.
Now would be a pretty good time to sit down and ask yourself some serious questions:
1. How can I better organise myself to get things done?
2. What’s in it for me? What are the pros and cons of procrastination?
3. What will I lose if I complete what I need to? Could be stress levels!
4. What will I gain if I complete what I need to? This could be in the form of free time, peacefulness; banish forever what you have to complete. Maybe your gain will be a special purchase – much like presenting yourself with a prize! Hey – whatever it takes – getting started is often harder than accomplishing the task.
5. How important is this to me? For example how important is paying your electricity bill? If you do not pay your electricity bill your power will be cut off. On the other hand you might have 3 things that need to be done first as a matter of priority.
6. Is the reason I drag my feet because I have a ‘who cares’ attitude? Can I delegate this project (there’s that glimmer of hope again) to someone else?
7. Do you actually know what you need to do? Seriously, maybe the process is unclear on how to start or finish whatever it is that needs to be done.
When you’ve done that, break down what needs to be done to the smallest denominator and work your way up from there. Sometimes we think about ALL the things that need to be done which overwhelms us. Start really, really small and work your way up by taking baby steps. Be in the present moment totally.
A life long habit that’s ready for change takes commitment, action, as well as time and effort.
Answering a few simple questions like the ones above will help start that ball rolling towards greater clarity about what gets done and what doesn’t, and is this okay. Maybe the outcome is to work on procrastination at a much deeper level and pursue some professional help.
Intuitive Business Guide – Reeny Carvotta Barron combines Law of Attraction, EFT and New generation techniques with proven marketing strategies to empower transformational entrepreneurs to achieve their life and business goals aligned to their passion. Her monthly ezine,, includes inspirational articles showing you how to use your business to create your ideal lifestyle. Grab the full article, ‘Ideas to Release your Creativity, at http://www.reenybarron.com