By Lauren Cash
As you’re growing your business exponentially, you’re probably thinking you need to finally get past this whole “procrastination issue” once and for all. As a high-achieving digital entrepreneur, you’ve tried many (no Lauren, ALL) of the time management approaches to eradicate this “terrible behavior.” We’re talking about the Pomodoro Technique, eating frogs first thing in the morning, planners on planners on planners (albeit gorgeous), the latest and greatest digital task managers… and yet, you still aren’t killing it like you think you should be by now.
Procrastination isn’t actually a negative behavior we need to shamefully eliminate ASAP.
Most of the time procrastination is actually a symptom of a root issue that no amount of time management band-aids will solve.
What is procrastination really?
Before we dive into exploring what some of these common core issues are, let’s first talk about what procrastination actually is. Many of us refer to it as though we know what it is, but many of us are not self-aware as to when we are doing it, and if we do know we are doing it, we often have negative stories about ourselves based on this behavior.
Procrastination is simply doing something in a specific moment, when we had intended or planned to do something else in that same moment. That’s it. It has nothing to do with certain types of behaviors, like watching Netflix or hanging out on social media. Although you could be doing those things instead of the work you had planned to do today. It’s important to see that there’s nothing inherently bad about doing something other than what we had planned. It just may not always be the most effective practice.
Procrastination is a behavior. We’re just doing something (or not doing something) in a moment. We don’t need to jump to making this mean that there’s something inherently wrong with us and our worthiness. Yet, for a lot of clients I work with, that’s where their minds unintentionally go first. “I am doing this, instead of that, therefore something is wrong with me.” This line of thinking is what is the true problem, not the act of doing something other than what was planned in and of itself.
Why do we procrastinate though? What is driving this avoidant behavior?
Let’s look at three common causes:
1.Your perfectionism is showing. For those with perfectionistic tendencies, avoidance or delaying completion is often a symptom. Rather than getting something out there that could be judged critically by yourself or others–you either put off working on it or continue to try to perfect it, thereby not getting it out there promptly. There are many other reasons why perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand.
2.You agreed to do something not meant for you. We often agree to do things that are not truly meant for us because we are choosing what we decide to do based on logical, mind-based decisions, rather than embodied, intuition-based decisions. We convince ourselves with a pro/con list that we “should” do a thing or that’s what everyone else is doing that has a “successful business.” We look for external validation and ask for what others think. But when we choose things that are out of alignment for us, the process of executing is filled with resistance and avoidance. We must go back to the start and ask ourselves, “How did I enter into this?” more carefully to learn for future decision making.
3.You’re thinking thought errors about the task at hand. In one of the modalities of coaching I use with my clients we have a term called, “thought error” which is a thought, a sentence in our minds, that is offered that simply isn’t true at all. It’s erroneous. For example, “I have to do X” or “I should do Y” or “this is so hard.” All of these are thought errors because you don’t actually HAVE to do anything. There’s nothing you should do. And what is hard and easy is subjective, and you may just be seeing a more challenging way to go about doing something. When you’re thinking any of these thoughts, it’s no wonder you’re in resistance and avoid doing the thing.
Take a quick sec to check in: Which one do you see in yourself the most?
I used to completely overwork myself with little to show for it because of my perfectionistic tendencies. Thankfully I started putting out work that my mind still thought was less than perfect and ended up creating a multiple six-figure business. Personally, I found it extremely pivotal to work closely with a coach to recognize and overcome the perfectionistic tendencies holding me back in my business.
Are you ready to begin to embrace your perfectionistic tendencies in a way that will no longer slow you down in your business goals?
Click here to grab your copy of the free Overcoming Perfectionism Game–a 30 day experiment that will help you to challenge your perfectionism and create more results in your business.
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