The problem with procrastination

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The problem with procrastination

Procrastination

/prə(ʊ)ˌkrastɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
noun: the action of delaying or postponing [i]

Do you ever delay completing tasks that are important? Or hesitate to accept an opportunity that comes your way – it feels right but you go into your head, finding reasons to avoid the issue? Sometimes we may get a gentle nudge inside to make that phone call, finish that project, have that conversation, start on that assignment, or simply say ‘yes’.

Procrastination is a common problem in society. Psychology Today reports that, “Twenty percent of people identify as chronic procrastinators.” Fear of failure is one reason why people procrastinate. The procrastination creates a tension in the body that has an impact on our health and wellbeing. It affects our immune system, our sleep and our relationships.[ii] This could be due to factors such as stress, nervous energy, the anxiety of incompletion or lack of preparedness.

Completing tasks and not procrastinating allows a sense of flow in our lives, it offers a sense of lightness within us that we can then bring to our relationships, to our work and our home.

Achieving completion in our day-to-day allows us to build a solid foundation for ourselves, a consistency and flow to move on to what is ‘next’. Breaking this cycle of procrastination involves a connection to the bigger purpose or picture of what needs to be done – and we can see how our choices affect not only ourselves but also those around us.

For example, if we have some project deadlines to meet, these may seem burdensome to us and we may want to put it off until the pressure is on to complete them, however if we allow ourselves to connect to the bigger picture and what the actual completion of the tasks will bring – to our workplace, or our clients, or others around us – there is a greater ease in completing what is required. The focus is no longer on ourselves and the challenge, but on the greater whole and what is needed.

When we surrender to the impulse we receive and choose not to procrastinate, there is an ease and flow we can have with life. In seeking the support that we need to take the next step, there is often a feeling of lightness in the body, like a weight has lifted. We come to realise it is more effort to actually hold back and hesitate. The tension is actually felt in holding back and containing what is already there to unfold. Our responsibility is to simply say yes.

In considering how easy and simple life can be when we don’t procrastinate, it is important to understand the deeper reasons for our procrastination.

Yes, there may be a part of life that we are avoiding that seems too challenging or too overwhelming to deal with that we can always seek support for.

But, could it also be about our relationship with success and our true potential?

We can use procrastination to hold us back in life, to avoid our true potential and sense of purpose. We are responsible for bringing who we are to the world, and by looking at the different parts of life that have procrastination we can get a bigger sense of where we are being asked to live more of our potential.

True freedom lies in surrendering to life and not trying to hold back and control it. We have the choice to control life or surrender and when we choose to surrender we allow simplicity, flow and our true potential. Then, procrastination no longer becomes a tool of delay to hold back what we are here to bring.

References:

  • [i]

    procrastination. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved July 18, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/procrastination

  • [ii]

    Marano, EM. (2016). Ending Procrastination. Sussex Publishers, viewed 20 November 2016. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200310/ending-procrastination>

Filed under

AcceptanceBehaviourSurrenderBody

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    By Annie Tran, Mental Health Professional, BAppSc (OT), BHSc (CM), Dip (CP)

    A mental health occupational therapist, counsellor and complementary health practitioner. Annie loves to support people in understanding and addressing unwanted emotions and behaviour patterns, and to take steps towards living their potential in everyday life.

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    Photography: Matt Paul