Now, before we start, be honest: the month of January is over and you haven’t started to do many of the things you promised to accomplish this year, right? Perhaps with the excuse that this year seems to be moving faster than last year, perhaps because you made too many plans, perhaps due to lack of energy, unforeseen circumstances, etc. Regardless of the reason, it is always good to face the facts: you are failing to do some things that you consider important.
How many dreams and plans have you been postponing? What about all the deadlines you need to meet? Do you always leave everything for the last minute? Are you then stressed because you have little time to do all your tasks?
These days I read an old New York Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/smarter-living/why-you-procrastinate-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-self -control.html) about procrastination and I found it very interesting.
The author says that procrastination is an emotional rather than a productivity issue. Despite of what it may seem, we procrastinate not out of laziness nor lack of energy, but because we choose to avoid getting in touch with the feeling of discomfort generated by the activity that we’ve been postponing.
This shows us a lot about our attitude towards life and precisely the one that makes us suffer the most: we try at all costs to avoid pain and feel pleasure. In this case, we seek the immediate pleasure of not having to perform the activity in question and avoid the pain of experiencing the feeling that manifests every time we imagine that we have to accomplish this task.
Another issue that may be at stake when procrastinating, is that we are not aware of our own potential. It is so painful for us to get in touch with our self-judgment, our self-criticism and our belief that we are unable to accomplish what we set out to do, that we try to postpone facing these emotions.
The author recommends us to be curious towards our tendency to procrastinate. Every time we notice the urge to procrastinate, we can bring our conscious awareness to the sensations that arise. How do we feel them in our bodies? What happens to the thoughts of procrastination as we observe them? Do they decrease? Increase?
The coolest thing about doing this exercise is that we have the possibility to find out that the sensations we were avoiding were not and will never be able to kill us. That’s right. When we are aware of our thoughts and feelings, we can open some space for them to manifest and we start to live in the present moment.
I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely curious and excited to invite my temptation to procrastinate to sit and have some tea with me. Who knows, maybe it’ll tell me something about myself that I still don’t know?
by Juliana Kurokawa, Miracle Choice Team.