The Power of Procrastination
When faced with any task, whether a creative job, chore, homework, admin work, or anything else, the ideal state to work from is conscious, relaxed, and flowing. There are an infinite number of reasons for this, that I will save for another post, but if you've experienced this state of being you know it allows you to do your best work in the most easy, inspired, and enjoyable way.
If you aren't in (or near) a state of flow, you are likely experiencing some level of fear or anxiety, and there's a very good chance it will lead to procrastination.
If you deconstruct it, procrastination is actually a good thing! It's a sign that something is off. It's a teacher. We are meant to be happy and excited about our lives and our work! So much so, that procrastination simply doesn't happen.
So what do you do about this?
First: As much as you can, only commit to doing the things you love. Those are the things that shift you into a flow state easily. The things that most excite you and drive you and keep you naturally motivated. This requires a special kind of discipline and honest clarity that takes practice to develop, but you can do it! You can start slowly if you'd like to, and gradually strip away everything that you aren't meant to be doing. Say no, delegate, or ask for help. Be a quitter! Be shamelessly lazy! Be ruthlessly devoted to your truth! You deserve to love your life and are too valuable to waste your energy, time, and health on trivial crap or stuff other people should be doing. Let it go, and let go of the guilt. We aren't on earth for that.
Next: Listen to what you really need. Are you procrastinating because you're actually too burned out to function properly? Are you tired of putting yourself last? You need to take care of yourself to do your best work, live your best life, and create the most positive change for yourself, your loved ones, and the world. That means scheduling time for yourself, if needed. Remember: Everything you do to yourself sets an example for others. Neglecting yourself teaches others to do the same (to you, and to themselves). Showing yourself love and compassion allows others to do the same. Love for others is incomplete if you don't also show love for yourself.
Finally: Find flow—at least a little, until you master it. If you don't have a system for putting yourself into a flow state, create one or find one. I see it as the state you are naturally in when relaxed, open, and completely dis-identified with fear (which triggers parts of your brain that aren't so great at being effective or creative). You can get there by journaling, meditating, making therapeutic art (like visual venting), and other things that require calm and focused attention. Find what works for you! Once you're in a flow state you will want to do all the things and create all the things. You will find inspiring ways to make even mundane tasks exciting. Try it out!
For more help with procrastination, purpose, and finding flow, you can also try the simple system outlined in Create Now.
Rather than tucking it all away in books or paid courses, I would love to keep this information flowing freely to everyone. Doing this takes takes real time, energy, and money though, so if you would like to support this work you may help by buying my book or leaving a donation. If spending money isn't an option, that's okay! Sharing my work with your friends would be great too.