What if – Procrastination could actually help you focus?
Research shows –
Ever had the experience of needing to do some mundane task like laundry or vacuuming instead of the task at hand? Me neither. Last week I needed to make a task list for my new assistant. When I got to that task on my list, suddenly it was of vital importance that I clean out my junk drawer.
I pulled the drawer out and dumped it onto the counter, my mental chatter squealing ‘What are you doing!’. I paid no heed and began sifting through the junk. After about 15 minutes I stopped, left the assorted elastics, candles, batteries, and what nots on the counter and sat down at my desk to write the list.
Experts define procrastination as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer as a result. It is looking more like procrastination has its roots in an inability to manage emotions.
It’s a coping mechanism to temporarily relieve stress with the underlying belief that, at some point in the future, you will be better prepared emotionally to deal with the task at hand.
The frontal systems in the brain that house our executive function like self regulation, emotional control, impulsivity, and planning are less active when we procrastinate.
The tools that could most help us manage the procrastination are less available to us. All is not lost, though a shift in perspective and noticing/naming what you’re up to can help engage your executive functions and get the task done. In my experience, pretty quickly once you tune in to it.
I haven’t had an assistant for a long time and the list meant I needed to look at the details….arrgghh so not my strong point…. of what I wanted done so my assistant could be successful. It was also an affirmation for me of my desire to grow my business and impact more people; it’s exciting but scary, too.
What reeled it back in for me was my ‘why’. Why am I doing this in the first place. I am very passionate about Being Who You Are and learning to play in your own sandbox, it inspires everything I do; my work, parenting, leadership style, and relationships. Try the exercise below to uncover yours.
Why do you do what you do?
Take a few minutes (this is great to do while you do dishes, shower, drive) and ask yourself the following questions. It may take a couple of times and some tweaking, but it is well worth the time.
What is really important to me? A cause? A feeling? A way of being?
Why do I do the work I do?
What values, ideals, feeling states does it align me with?
Share your ‘why’ in the comments below