The Power of Procrastination
It is not only ADHD folks that procrastinate, but it certainly shows up for us a lot. I sure know it happens to me often enough to be concerning. I’ve been procrastinating about writing this post for a couple of weeks now, as embarrassed as I am to admit it. Just today, I’ve spent about 3 hours reading articles about the election. And although I consider this particular presidential race to be a very important one for the future of our country, 3 hours seems a little excessive. So I tend to judge myself harshly about that.
What is the reason behind delaying doing things that are clearly more important than where my procrastination has led me? I could say it’s just the way my brain works, and chalk it up to my inattentive ADHD. I could say that it’s a Sunday and I deserve the day off, but that is not a really good reason, as I don’t have a hectic job that I need time off from. So, what’s the real reason, and the reason many people procrastinate besides their ADHD? It is fear. Plain and simple fear.
Well, maybe not so simple. Fear can really cause us to put the brakes on in our lives. It can create stuckness, and the inability to take steps in a forward direction. I know for me, it can sometimes be paralyzing, keeping me immobilized and distracted. Doing things like being on Facebook for hours. That is the power of procrastination. It allows us to play it safe; to do anything as long as it doesn’t require courage and tenacity. And after all, we will end up doing the hard things eventually, won’t we?
The thing is, I can procrastinate for months and just pretend that those things I am avoiding don’t really matter so much. But in my case, doing them is essential to my success. Yet, I still make excuses for myself, and silly me…I accept my poor excuses, and let days pass without focusing on the appropriate tasks because I have fear of rejection or failure. Especially when the things I really “want” to be doing are outside my comfort zone. Yes, I really want to be doing the writing. And making the phone calls it would be valuable to make. They’re just scary.
So how do I get beyond the procrastination and propel myself forward? Part of it is remembering that when I’ve done things outside my comfort zone before, I’ve had some really good successes. And another thing to remember is that the people I need to connect with will benefit from what I am offering them. And to acknowledge how good it will feel when these scary things are done.
I know to move forward, I need to just take a step. I need to break down what I am avoiding into manageable chunks. And to be sure to congratulate myself for each chunk I finish. When the task is broken down this way, I can get it accomplished more easily and efficiently. And then I can pat myself on the back and say, “Now that wasn’t life threateningly hard, was it?”
I encourage you to take a good look at your procrastination, and to begin to do those things you are procrastinating about, one step at a time. I just know you’ll feel a whole lot better.