22 September 2009

The Fear of Procrastination

When we look at the unrealistic fears in our lives, one of the major indicators is procrastination. Wikipedia defines procrastination as “a behavior which is characterized by the deferment of actions or tasks to a later time.”

At a workshop I attended sometime back, the majority of the participants cited procrastination as the main cause of not beginning a task, a dream or a desire. They knew exactly what to do, but the problem came in the actual doing. I must admit to having this particular syndrome many times in my life. It became so detrimental to my life that I had to discover what was going on. Then came the awareness. I looked at the things I did quite easily without delay. What was the difference?

It wasn’t passion. I am passionate about writing, yet for a long time I would put off writing these blog posts.

I looked at the reasons why I had to do the thing that I procrastinated on. Was it something that I had to or should do, or something that I wanted to do? I did not have to write these blog posts; but I definitely wanted to. It took a shift in mindset, then the means to blog daily came so easily and effortlessly.

If procrastination is plaguing you, look at the reasons why you are doing the thing you keep putting off. Is it because you want to or because you think you should do it? Remember, stop “shoulding” over yourself. And if it is a task that you must do to move to another level, then reframe why you are doing it. Say to yourself, “I get to do _____, which will move me closer to ______!”

It’s all about awareness and making conscious choices. This is your life and you only get one; but if you work it right, one is all you need!

“Procrastination is not the cause of our problems with accomplishing tasks; it is an attempt to resolve a variety of underlying issues, includ¬ing low self-esteem, perfec¬tionism, fear of failure and of success, indecisiveness, an imbalance between work and play, ineffective goal-setting, and negative concepts about work and yourself.”
~ Dr. Neil Fiore, The NOW Habit

Coach Carolyn


Neil Fiore said...

from Neil Fiore www.neilfiore.com author of The Now Habit and The Now Habit at Work [Wiley, 2010],
thanks Caroline
One of the main causes of procrastination is ineffective self-leadership: eg, "You have finish an overwhelming To-Do List, do it perfectly and suffer with no time for fun." That's your life. Effective Self-Leadership [see Awaken Your Strongest Self] says, "I choose to START for 15 minutes on a Rough Draft and I have plenty of Guilt-Free Play in my "Un-Schedule." thank you, Neil Fiore, PhD www.neilfiore.com

Carolyn D. Townes, SFO said...

Thanks, Dr. Neil! Love it! Would love to continue this thread since it is a biggie with most folks. Will be quoting you lots!

Peace, C.