‘Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone’ ~ Pablo Picasso
Has it ever happened to you that you are drawn to the realm of procrastination? To that safe and well known place of tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or even next month…
I am sure it has… If it hasn’t, feel free to knock on the door of self-delusion, see if you could find it there:-)!
And in those I-will-do-it-tomorrow situations, did you notice how you are, albeit for a split second, overwhelmed with the feeling of total joy? I say split second, as that is the approximate duration of that illusion of joy! Why? Because the guilt is lined up and ready to step in. And guilt rarely travels alone… It takes with it its trusted companions: criticizing internal dialogue and shame! It (procrastination) makes more friends as it travels further towards the looserville :-)!
It is a common misconception that procrastinators are lazy! They are not! Procrastinators are overwhelmed by imaginary exertion and a failure to think about thinking!
And the key is in this thinking about thinking stuff! You see, procrastination is all about choosing… Going for ‘want’ instead of dragging your feet with ‘should’, as let’s be honest here- you don’t have a plan for those times when you can expect to be tempted;-).
Those people who talk about working great under pressure and tight deadlines, are kidding themselves, and are living in the world of self-delusion. How can you be great at something without a clear strategy?! Without a strategy you are like a headless chicken, always rushing, complaining and getting into the victim mode. There’s hardly anything great about this!
One thing that is rarely considered though – procrastinators should get a lot of credit for being hard workers. Procrastination is a hard work! A bit like that of Sisyphus – the Greek chap whom the gods punished by having him roll a boulder up a mountain … only to have it roll all the way down whenever he approached the top, so that he had to do it again and again ad infinitum.
When you procrastinate you tend to go like this: Ah, I should do this, and then you imagine doing it in such a way that you exhaust yourself before you’ve even started. And then you give up! And the boulder rolls down the mountain. But it doesn’t end there. You will have to remind yourself later on again: ‘Ah, I really need to get going!’ and then you exhaust yourself with your own imagination again in that painful and futile struggle to overcome certain internal obstacles, and so on, again and again, ad exhaustium.
And herein lies one of the causes of procrastination – inability to imagine what you want to accomplish and what you must do in a way which makes you want to do it, in a way that is compelling.
When you get a chance, feel free to do this useful exercise – Think of yourself as your now-you and your future-you. Your now-you needs to create a structure which makes it easy for your future-you to make the right choice.
If your now-you thinks that you ought to get fit, starting tomorrow evening and when tomorrow comes your future-you compares the effort starting to get fit in some unspecified way with watching your favorite TV show, chances are, the TV will win.
If on the other hand your now-you makes concrete arrangements that will make your future-you act with your long term interest at heart, e.g. you phone the gym and sign up for sessions with a personal trainer, the future-you will have no choice but to deal with this by going to the gym, as the commitment in the form of payment has been made.
Some people get the strategies for making good decisions, setting goals and making them happen with their mother’s milk. The rest of the population has to learn them.
Just as there is a yin to every yang there is a good side to procrastination. Good procrastination can be obvious things like saving up a bunch of bills and paying them all at the same time, because you then get them done in less time than if you do them individually. Good procrastination is when you don’t prepare your presentation months in advance but only during the week leading up to it. Partly, because you don’t have to rehearse it before delivery, and partly because you get to prepare it by picking up good ideas as you go along.
Wouldn’t it be great to start devising a strategy to outsmart yourself and move away from the world of self-delusion and empty promises?! We invite you to take some time to go over all the things you’ve been leaving for another day, month, year, to get that calendar out, set the dates and commit to whatever it is you really want! Stop postponing your life, and start living! It’s easy! Get in touch with us, come and see us, let’s meet and devise those strategies together. We are here for you!
Wishing you a wonderful week and sending you oceans of love,
Your pragmatically proactive trainers,
Lidija and Thomas
Lidija Markovic – NLP Trainer (Classic & New Code)
Thomas Bjørge – NLP Trainer (Classic & New Code)
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