Procrastination – or is it?

Procrastination must be the word of the week. I have read at least 5 articles about procrastination in the past few days. Here’s a new spin on it. Waiting until the last minute, distracting yourself with Facebook, or starting something new so you don’t have to do the dreaded to-do list could all be examples of procrastination. But then again, maybe not.

Do you avoid taking action by distracting yourself with less important items so you can tell yourself that you have done something? That might be procrastination. If, however, you aren’t clear about what outcome you want, you will distract yourself. That isn’t procrastination, it’s a lack of clarity. When you get clear about where you want to go and create a specific plan, you no longer have any problem taking action. All of a sudden procrastination disappears because it wasn’t the self-judged character flaw of procrastination to begin with. We are so hard on ourselves.

When we judge ourselves as procrastinating we often stop the flow of moving forward. We judge ourselves so harshly that we don’t do anything. What if you give yourself time to pause, time to reflect, or time to create a clear plan rather than seeing it as procrastination? It opens up your creative flow and allows you to move forward purposefully.

What if it isn’t procrastination at all? What if you take time to pause and get clear about your next step, your plan? It’s time for you to pay attention to the motivation of not taking swift action. It might be clarity that is warranted or maybe it’s your own self-doubt that needs to be quieted. Maybe what looks like procrastination is only a signal that something else needs attention

Notice when you seem to be procrastinating and then take the following steps:

  • Pause
  • Get clear
  • Create a plan
  • Try it out – experiment
  • Re-calibrate
  • Take more action

Remember that what you have named procrastination is only a cue for you to pay attention. It is a message to yourself that something needs more clarity. When have you judged yourself as a procrastinator when upon review, that wasn’t it at all?

 

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