Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of a deeper issue.
One that nobody wants to talk about.
Unhealthy and ineffective emotional regulation.
And so, when we spontaneously decide to start vacuuming and dusting our entire office in the middle of a weekday afternoon, it’s not because a prospective client is coming over for a high powered meeting.
It’s because we’re trying to run away from our feelings and avoid discomfort and repair our mood and sooth ourselves from the crippling fear of actually sitting down and doing the work.
When we leave the office for twenty minutes to go stuff our faces with chicken wings, it’s not because we’ve worked up an appetite and deserve a well earned break from the daily grind.
It’s because using food to regular our scary emotions is easier, cheaper and faster than the misery of sitting with those uncomfortable feelings.
And so, procrastination, has nothing to do with putting off tasks that need to be done, and everything to do with putting off emotions that need to be felt.
Here are a few reframing scenarios to consider next time your procrastinatory urges kick in.
Instead of rewarding yourself for avoiding negative feelings, consider doing the hard, painful work of confronting the draining emotional reality that you have been procrastinating.
Instead of reaching for unhealthy attempts at mood repair that only sabotage your efforts, stop and ask yourself what this feeling might want from you.
The point is, rewarding yourself for avoiding something takes far more work and far higher of a personal toll than the minimal effort it would take to do it.
And so, stop wasting energies that might be more usefully employed elsewhere.
Because procrastination isn’t task management, it’s feeling management.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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