Getting back in to work after the holidays is always challenging…most of us feel like the holidays have ended too quickly…and because we have let gone of most of our routines, getting back in to the groove also becomes a little difficult….Reminds me of Newton’s Law every time: A body at rest, stays at rest! And as I shake myself in to action, I realise that this is an almost perfect topic to revist: Procrastination! And… what MORE can we do about it!
Hundreds of articles and dozens of books have been written about procrastination, not to mention the number of videos that are available online…with one and one goal only: how to stop it.
So why haven’t we collectively as a species evolved past procrastinating already? Why have we been procrastinating about getting rid of procrastination?
I believe that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t asking the right question. Maybe how to stop it is not the problem. Maybe how it starts is the problem. To put an end to it, you need to know what creates it.
And that’s what I read in this wonderful book by Dr Theo Tsaousides (I believe in his spare time, Theo gives lessons on how to pronounce his name)
So here’s a surprising nugget:
Procrastination is not a problem. It is a solution.
Procrastination is the failure to take action. To translate a plan into effort. Your head may be teeming with brilliant ideas and strong desires, but you never implement any of them.
Let’s go in to your skull to understand this….
All actions that you take originates in the brain. The brain is responsible for receiving and analyzing information, formulating a goal, creating a plan, and launching the kind of action that is required to achieve a goal. All of this happens through the activation of a complex network of brain functions that are collectively called executive functions. The executive functions are the brain’s most important asset. They are the skills of success. One of the executive functions is initiation. Initiation is the brain’s mechanism of translating intention to action. Initiation is to your brain like the ignition is to your car. Without turning on the ignition, your car will not start moving and you will not get anywhere.
To initiate action the brain receives input from multiple internal and external sources. It scans the environment, it pulls from your memory, it makes calculations based on a vast amount of information, and it decides how to proceed. When the information is sufficient and satisfactory your brain generates action. When it is insufficient and unsatisfactory, your brain stalls.
And that is when you experience procrastination.
So you understand, your procrastination is not a problem. It is a solution. It is your brain’s response to a set of circumstances that shut it down and do not promote action. It is what you do in response to the problems you are confronted with in the moment.
Dr Theo Tsaosides , in his book, Getting it Done Sooner, talks about the various circumstances that can cause procrastination: Because if you can predict Procrastination, you will be better equipped to eliminate it…right
Dr Theo gives a lovely acronym as the predictors for procrastination: Soonerr (* as in get it done Sooner???)
If you need help with procrastination, reach out to me and let’s talk. Click on the link given below to book a session.