Banish Procrastination at the Root Cause (Part Two)

I once heard someone say that procrastination isn’t a behavior, it’s LACK of a behavior. You see procrastination is a SYMPTOM, not the cause itself. Therefore it’s a lack of behavior in response to something else. Something much deeper. It’s why it seems sometimes that no amount of reasoning and willpower will make any difference—in fact, they’ll leave you sometimes feeling burned out and worse off than before. So what is that something else? Below are 12 possible things. In part one I covered the first four. Here we will cover the next four…

now-later-procrastination-jadeFeeling Overwhelmed or Overcommitted

  • Lacking motivation or relevance
  • Too much time or not enough
  • Magnifying a task
  • Unclear where to start
  • Fear of success or failure
  • You don’t want to acknowledge your shortcomings
  • You have an “all-or-nothing” mindset/Perfectionism
  • You’re too hard on yourself and lack enough self-compassion
  • Acceptance of another’s goals
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Evaluation of anxiety
  • Unclear where to start

When this is the case, procrastinating is just something we do because it seems like the most manageable option. Feeling like we’re unclear where to start is a result of two things. The first is that we’re new to the task and therefore have yet to gain the experience on how to go about it effectively or we still haven’t yet mastered the required skill. The second is that again there’s so much to do and we feel overwhelmed. In Part One I addressed how to handle overwhelm. Another way to handle it is to dissociate it. Instead of being fully associated with it, take a step back and change your perspective. How would this problem look it was finished and you were reviewing it postmortem. See yourself already having completed the task with ease grace and breaking it up into bite-sized chunks and handling it easily one at a time. When we do this, we eliminate the subconscious need to procrastinate.

Fear of Success or Failure

Procrastinating is one way to NOT have to deal with our fears. This fundamentally challenges issues regarding our beliefs on whether or not we are good enough, deserving enough and our ability to handle the changes associated with it. Changing our beliefs on our own can be time-consuming and complex, but much simpler if working with someone who can. But first, we have to admit it to ourselves, recognize how it’s holding us back, and be willing to seek assistance to face it. Why seek assistance? Because if it were so easy to do on our own, we would have done it by now. Check out my webinar for more on this!

You Don’t Want to Acknowledge Your Shortcomings

This we are all guilty of. Whether it be pride, shame or some mixture in between, any of which will prevent us from getting to admit and to come to terms with our own limitations. Putting things off is a great way to avoiding that. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t allow us to move forward. A good thing to remember is that EVERYONE has shortcomings. No one is immune to them, the quicker you are to admitting them and figuring out how to capitalize on your strengths, the sooner you will level up and rise above your colleagues!

You Have An “All-Or-Nothing” Mindset/Perfectionism

If you’ve ever played poker and gone all in, you know that this is a binary game. Only two things can happen, you win and get to play a little longer and to revel in the spectacular short-lived glory, or you’re 100% out and dealing with a whole new set negative emotions. As is life, if you only allow for two options, then you’re setting yourself up for a 50% chance of getting wiped out. Which means you’re likely experiencing a life teemed with rollercoaster results. Your anxiety levels will be high, nerves constantly strained, and it’ll be common to experience similar dramas in other areas of your life. How you do anything, is most likely how you do everything. Part of you has come to grips with this which is why you may be procrastinating on moving forward. Part of you doesn’t want to face the possibility of falling short. Life is about zigging and zagging. The thing to remember is that you CAN believe you are the best and BE the best, and at the same time accept that you aren’t always going to show up at your best. Anything less is setting yourself up for the most unrealistic and utterly exhausting expectations which will take an emotional toll on you if it already hasn’t. How is that serving you?

To be continued…

You may also like: Banish Procrastination at the Root Cause (Part One)

If this resonates with you, and you’d like support in how to navigate your challenges with procrastination so you can increase your productivity, contact me!

Jade Goodhue

Jade Goodhue

Jade Goodhue has served in the United States Marine Corp as a company commander, a logistics officer, and a black belt martial arts instructor, as well as completed two combat tours to Iraq. In 2008, she earned her Six Sigma green belt while running Battalion-level Logistics in Iraq. After transitioning from the Marine Corps, she gained a myriad of financial sector experience. She worked her way up from a trader to the director of operations at a financial trading and education firm. During that time, she specialized in trading psychology. She now coaches on leadership development, as well as changing, developing, and sustaining an organizational culture. Jade holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Minor in Japanese from the United States Naval Academy. She is also earning her Master of Liberal Arts in Organizational Psychology from Harvard Extension School.

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