Currently I’m reading two books – one on how to joyfully and playfully free my inner writer even more and a second one on how to master the game of life. I’ve practically filled half a notebook with thoughts from each.
The interesting thing is both of these books address the dreaded phenomenon of procrastination.
And I’ve been dealing with it big time in the last week or so.
So with my reading and a bit of introspection, here’s what I’ve learned:
Procrastination is actually is a gift! We should hug it and squeeze and thank it.
Here’s the deal: when we procrastinate, we’re on the verge of discovery. Like, BIG discovery. The reason we procrastinate is our “inner lizard” – our fear brain – is saying, “Danger! Danger! Something important is about to take place.”
And then our “inner lizard” shifts into major procrastination mode and presents us with juicy things to do, like organize our sock drawer, stare at emails, make witty comments on social media, or bathe the cat.
Instead of pandering to our inner lizard, let’s take some advice from rapper Vanilla Ice (yes, really):
“Alright Stop. Collaborate and Listen.”
Yes, I’m asking you to both take advice from a rapper and embrace your procrastination. To get cozy with it. And to listen. Write down the thing or things you’re avoiding and ask the following questions:
1. Is the something I’m avoiding big and remarkable and scary to me? Yet, at the same time, it kind of really excites me and terrifies me and makes me fizz in a Pop-Rocks kind of way? Is the energy rushing into my body and making me feel the need to do something, anything (except maybe the thing I’m procrastinating about)?
2. OR is the thing I’m avoiding doing making me feel dread? Making me feel truly yucky? And making me feel like the energy is running out of my body? So much so I cannot even move from my chair?
Once you can fully decide which of the two feelings you’re feeling, you can fully thank Procrastination (and your inner lizard) for such awesome information!
The solutions here? If you’re dealing with first scenario (scared, but energized), see if you can take one step in the direction of accomplishing the thing. And one step can be calling someone and saying, “I’m scared.” or “I’m stuck.”
If you’re dealing with the second scenario (dread, low energy, etc.) ask yourself, “Do I have to do this thing or can I get creative and get it done another way or by another person?” If you’re feeling SO yucky about it, you most likely should not be doing it. And I’m perfectly serious about that.
I had a very illuminating conversation with someone recently about this and he realized a whole new way to get something done in a collaborative way that brought enthusiasm, relief and energy back into his voice (and his body). His information was, “This is not a task you’re good at. It doesn’t bring you energy. It’s not one of your gifts and talents.” However, collaborating IS his gift and talent and it turned into a perfect scenario for the thing to get done.
So, there you have it. Hug and squeeze and thank procrastination for giving you such great information.
And if you find you cannot figure out which feeling you’re feeling or if you’d like some support in identifying or taking action on these things, that’s what I’m here for!
In fact, today I’m doing a Make Some Room Rendezvous Session with a business owner who called and said, “I’m just plain stuck.”
Awesome! It’s going to be a fine day of discovery, getting unstuck, and moving into energizing action. And we shall squeeze and hug and thank procrastination for making it happen.
P.S. There are no more Make Some Room Rendezvous sessions available for March. Schedule yours for April now! And when those are gone, I won’t offer anymore until late summer/early fall.