There are times when you procrastinate. That’s a given in being human. The downside is that it impacts progress to get things done and can often get in your way of satisfaction, ease and happiness at work. And what’s the potential harmful impact on how you are breaking connection with your team or division?
To gain some awareness on your own procrastination needs or habits, take some time to answer the following questions:
- Do you find yourself delaying something you need or want to do?
- Are you stalling to avoid it? Or do other priorities feel easier to you right now?
- What feelings and thoughts come up when you postpone an action or goal moving forward?
- How often do you run toward avoidance mode?
- Is there a noisy voice inside your head impeding your progress forward on the goal?
To take it a step further, that noisy voice inside your head quite possibly adds to your procrastination habits. Ask yourself if one or more of the NEGATIVE THOUGHT VOICES below is going on right now:
1. Do you believe you can deliver IT so you feel the results are good enough? Or, do you doubt that happening?
2. Are you ready to do this? Or, do you keep needing more information?
3. What if others judge IT (and YOU!) as not good enough?
4. Do you have Imposter Syndrome thoughts that let self-doubt and judgements get in the way of you completing IT?
It may be that you’re all locked up in the busy-ness of doing in your analytical, informational gathering, left brain!
Yes, really! Being locked into a left brain, skeptical and questioning mindset can and will get in your way. Your right brain, creative part, is not being accessed for your greatest potential. You may be an unaware participant in the negative daily thoughts and emotions you’re having about procrastination.
Being unaware of your negative beliefs and thoughts blocks you from using more of your brain power. If you’ve got a procrastination thing going on at work and in your life, you most likely only use a part of your brain power!!! Your brain is comprised of three parts (with the main functions highlighted below):
- Your thinking mind is the Neocortex part of your brain where you gather and analyze information, organize, plan and take action steps.
- Your unconscious thoughts and feelings are stored in your Cerebellum (reptilian and subconscious) brain and this is your key to awareness. It’s also about keeping you safe and surviving. When you go into stress and your body responds with a “fight or flight” mode, firing off stress hormones like cortisol, this is the control center. Negative beliefs and fears live here.
- Your Limbic brain (your emotion center) is where you sense and feel. It’s also the place where memory occurs (both positive and negative emotions).
Procrastination creates stress and your body is knocked out of balance by thoughts; in both your thinking and in your unconscious mind. The best possible way for you to break free of procrastination is to notice when negative thoughts take over how you approach an avoided goal.
AWARENESS + INFORMATION INCREASES PROBABILITY
THAT LEARNING AND PRACTICING SOMETHING NEW IS A
KEY FOR CHANGING HABITS.
GETTING STUCK IN PROCRASTINATION DEFAULT-MODE
MAY NOT BE SERVING YOUR BEST SELF TO STEP FORWARD!
Think of a past conversation where your feelings were bruised. All the details are still pretty clear, right? Now try to recall the delicious meal you had for breakfast yesterday morning? It’s not as crisply detailed, is it?
Research shows that negative emotions are recalled
with five times more detail than positive emotions.
To step out of your procrastination habit, look first to how you can shift your feelings around the project? Instead of your inner negative naysayer filling up thoughts, how about creating some new positive emotions around the project?
For example, maybe you’ve gotten stuck on analyzing, organizing, executing or planning how to use information. That’s your Neocortex at work. But what often occurs is that at the same time as your thinking process, your Limbic emotional brain engages. And, it will often uncover a past memory or experience stored in your lower unconscious brain, the cerebellum. This is then linked to your beliefs or fears about something in the present moment. Albeit irrational.
Usually there’s little awareness of this happening since it’s in the undercurrent within your emotional reactions. And sometimes, it’s actually your little 5-year old self running the show without your awareness. Many emotions (especially negative ones) are not even yours! You were exposed to them in your family, at school or through past experiences.
At some very unconscious level, triggered negative emotions may be a hidden cause of why you procrastinate. And it may be why you even do it!!!
When you avoid or procrastinate, your unconscious brain searches for familiar feelings to support avoidance of IT. And the most familiar and detail-filled reasons are when it feels really awful. Remember, your brain is designed to keep you safe so it automatically protects you with stored memories of similar experiences that once triggered you to feel badly.
Some of the NEGATIVE THOUGHT VOICES you identified before may be providing you with counter-productive PROCRASTINATION NOURISHMENT that doesn’t support you to fully thrive or engage in your work culture.
What can you do to spin your procrastination habits into a different direction of taking action? Here are some PRACRASTINATION SPINS MADE EASY TIPS to try:
1. Activate your creative Right Brain! Dance, play, find something you’re grateful for that makes you feel good, anchor in some positive emotions you’ve experienced in the past. This can help unlock you from being stuck in procrastination mode.
2. Say no to Wifi and turn off, silence or remove your devices from sight! Yes, you can do this! It will free up any distractors that veer you off the path of taking action on IT.”
3. Designate a specific amount of time in your schedule to focus on IT. This removes any excuses of not having time to focus your attention on the project.
4. Start keeping track of any feelings that come up around this project. You may be surprised how often that is. This is an exercise of building awareness and also more resilience to engage with the project instead of avoiding it. If you have more negative emotions than positive ones, that will build your awareness. It’s helpful to have someone support you on this behavior shift potential for yourself.
Once you gain more awareness of how your thinking pulls you away from your target goal, you can begin pushing in more positive emotions to experience in daily life. This makes a huge impact at work. Instead of procrastinating, you can now lighten up the way you’re approaching doing IT.
What has worked for you in shifting procrastination toward action?
Comment below and I’d love to interview you about it! I’m looking forward to supporting you to activate your emotional IQ so “It Doesn’t Feel Like Work.”
#elevatoronhumanpotential #pushpositive #itdoesntfeellikework #happiness