What do you do when you procrastinate?
Procrastination happens for a couple of reasons…
1 – You don’t wanna do the thing you’re meant to be doing
2 – Stress – Procrastination is sometimes a byproduct of stress. It’s your brains way of calming down
I know the 2nd seems counterintuitive, especially as our stress levels increase about the thing we haven’t done because we were busy procrastinating, but it’s true. Procrastination can be the silent way our brains help calm us and take us away from a stressful situation.
Think about it… what are you meant to be doing when you procrastinate? How do you feel about it? What do you end up doing instead?
Imagine you’re in college/work and have a report to write.
The common-sense approach would be to break down what you need to do into manageable steps and take them one by one.
Maybe you’re in a rabbit hole of research and need to sort through it all before you can finalise (or even start) writing the report…
You know the deadlines coming up, yet even though you’ve got so much work to do, you start cleaning your room, doing the laundry, browsing the internet, reading a book, binging on Netflix…
Your brain has switched off from the task at hand (the report) and moved onto something easier to process.
The alternative reason for procrastination; boredom.
This is my downfall. It always has been since I was a child.
If I didn’t want to do something, then I wouldn’t do it. Simple as that, no matter what my mother tried.
If I didn’t want to tidy my room, I’d re-organise my books.
If I was asked to clean the kitchen after a full Sunday dinner, I’d scrub the oven until it was spotless.
My Mum always saw it as ‘wasting time’ I saw it as something productive, just not quite what she’d asked of me… even as an adult, I can’t get her to see my side of the argument!
Honestly… sometimes it was overwhelming, the rest of the time it was just boring.
The more I’ve grown up and lived life, the more I’ve seen this pattern, and I started to beat myself up over it.
I was a smart kid, I grew up into a smart, capable woman… yet I haven’t lived up to my full potential. All because I let this habit of procrastination take so much control over my life.
But here’s what I’ve noticed...
My procrastination almost always goes the same way!
Whether I end up reading a book, listening to a podcast, scrolling through blog posts/articles online, watching videos on YouTube, even binge-watching shows on Netflix, browsing Facebook groups… they all have a recurring theme.
So I’ve decided to pay attention to it
Some of the things I pay attention to:
High Performance habits
All of the things I procrastinate with are in the area of personal development.
Originally, I noticed the habit of
Important project… start project… get bored… flick around the internet… find something that looked remotely interesting… wonder why that is… google something related… beat myself up about another wasted day, and another unfinished project.
Sometimes I would even completely forget about that project altogether until someone pointed it out to me. This has happened more times than I can count. Because they’re not important to me
Including the half-painted bannister on my stairs… it’s been that way over a year, I don’t even notice it. On a scale of things, it’s not that important to me.
So what am I meant to be doing when I fall into my procrastination loops?
Working usually. I sit down to write some new content, put together a new funnel, a new download, a new big exciting project… then I tailspin off into Mel Robbins on YouTube, or browse mindset coaching groups on Facebook.
I have so many incredible groups that I could promote my ‘work’ to.. the stuff I’ve set myself up in business doing, but 3 years later, I’m still in Startup mode, because I’ve never bothered to get it off the ground.
As my mum would say “You clearly don’t want to do it then”
So why am I still doing it?
Because it’s what people expect of me
Because I feel like a fraud
Because I feel like a failure (3. Years in startup? Really!?!?)
Because knowing I could make a real success of myself in the Personal Development field scares the shit outta me
Because I’m worried that if I turn this into ‘work’ I’ll switch off from it like I have everything else…
I know that’s bs though.
I know I’m good at it.
My whole journey is based around personal development. That started 10 years ago. I’ve learned and absorbed so much that I know more about that field than probably any other.
I know how to get myself out of shitty situations.
I help other people get out of their shitty situations
I feel more admiration/rapport with people who work in that field
I feel more aligned with personal development than I do anything else.