On procrastination

Category: [On Life]


2min read

Procrastinating is one of life’s biggest banes. Everyone has an episode of severe procrastination at some point in their lives. And that severe procrastination can affect any major aspect of our lives - relationship, family, work, finance, health, education, and so on.

Procrastination usually takes one of two forms - procrastinating on a decision, or procrastinating on doing the work to solve a problem. In both forms of procrastination, the underlying decision or problem is a difficult one - we don’t usually procrastinate on something simple.

The underlying decision or problem is also one that has a big impact on our lives - so our resistance to change pushes us away from the decision or the problem.

Procrastinating on something that is both difficult and impactful doesn’t sound like a wise move - so why do we still procrastinate?

Procrastinating usually involves negative emotions - negative emotions that we have to experience when we make the decision or work through the problem. These negative emotions can range from sadness to anxiety to anger to regret to stress. We subconsciously choose to distract ourselves from experiencing these emotions, temporarily pleasing our experiencing self, and procrastinate.

Stopping procrastination will mean recognizing these emotions, and letting them play out - not controlling or subduing them. It’s OK to feel sad, to feel anxious, to feel angry, to feel regretful, to feel stressed. It’s alright. Let these emotions play out, feel them - and regard them from a distance. Observe or write down your thoughts as you are experiencing these emotions. These thoughts will let you learn more about yourself, and will become lessons in life that you can draw upon in the future.

Once you feel the full force of your emotions, take a deep breath and regain composure. Again, regard these emotions from a distance - they are simply artefacts that you are observing from afar. Then remind yourself that you have a decision to make or a problem to solve, and go make that decision or solve that problem. Most likely, you already know what needs to be done (perhaps hence the procrastination in the first place).