Hillary Rettig is a procrastination expert who writes and speaks about it frequently. Years ago I attended a talk where she said, “People procrastinate because they want to avoid the same failure they’ve had in the past.” It struck me, and I never forgot it- the compassionate view on procrastination appealed to me. We avoid things that make us feel bad– procrastination in that case, or in the case of something we are scared of, is to protect us from discomfort.
So we can view procrastination as a potentially good thing- but how do we accept it and move through it?
Joumor is all about the tiny steps and finding workarounds that we will do.
Two easy steps to avoid procrastination
1. If you are avoiding something that failed last time, brainstorm 5-20 ways that would make it feel like you learned from that failure. Even if it doesn’t work this time next time you try, you will have the feeling of being smarter and more powerful when you try again.
2. If you are avoiding something that you’re scared of, ask for help, either from a friend or from an expert, so you know that whatever action you take, you’ll be informed and supported. This will penetrate the fear and allow you to act.
The easiest thing to do is shame ourselves with words like “lazy,” “lacking willpower,” and “unmotivated.” It takes a much more courageous and disciplined person to find the way into our subconsciousness-es and take compassionate action from there.
We are capable of change. It begins with believing that the things we do make sense in some way, not shaming them, and taking small actions that are in alignment with our visions of ourselves.
To acceptance and productivity, anyway.
PS. What do you procrastinate about? I’d love to hear from you about this. Email me or comment below!