The Great Procrastination Game

A couple of nights ago, I put my daughter to bed with the intention of heading into my office to get work done. I caught sight of the clock half an hour later to realize I’d done literally everything but go back to my office. Social media scrolling, clean dishes, paid some bills and two snacks later, it’s like I’d had a procrastination blackout!

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And I know I’m not alone on this one — sometimes we all get caught in a vicious cycle of put-it-off-til-tomorrow. But fear not! As annoying and frustrating as this sort of mentality can be, there are a few great tools you can give yourself to combat the feeling of “I just can’t do it yet.” In fact, this New York Times Article was brought to my attention yesterday (thanks Susan Bowen & Randall David Cook) and explains why procrastination is hardly a sign of laziness, and instead has more to do with the way we treat our to-do lists… and ourselves.

Instead of procrastination being linked to laziness or lack of motivation, it’s really about our own emotions. It’s brought on by the feelings of negativity we ascribe to a certain task over time. Perhaps, it’s our fear that we might fail that keeps us from even beginning the task. 

 In a 2012 study examining the relationship between stress, self-compassion and procrastination, Dr. Sirois found that procrastinators tend to have high stress and low self-compassion…self-compassion doesn’t require anything external — just a commitment to meeting your challenges with greater acceptance and kindness rather than rumination and regret.”

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 In the #path class, we talk a lot about ways to handle our inner critic and find joy around each step of our goals. When we start to reward ourselves for doing the things that actually help us toward our goal, we start to get more done.

 Everyone who works with me knows that I firmly believe self-compassion is essential to long-term growth and happiness. But self-compassion, alone, won’t get you moving. We also work hard while we #pathitout to set up new and effective habits to combat negative feelings and make productivity practically a thing of muscle memory! When we put up roadblocks for our bad habits (however good they might feel in the moment) and replace them with feel-good habits, we change our workflow and our mentality for the better.

 Now, I’m going to go delete my social media apps from my phone and leave it out of the office for a while. If you’re ready to kick some old habits, swing over to the Path page on our site and be sure to join us this April for the LAST in-person Path class of 2019.