We’ve all done it before, some of us more than others, but regardless of the size of our to-do lists, procrastination has gotten the best of us. Bless the overachievers who get a task, start and complete immediately, but for many of us this just isn’t the case. We know there is something we should be doing (and now) but we just aren’t, this cognitive dissonance - the separation of what we believe and what we actually do – can be the reason we feel overwhelmed and anxious. Why do we procrastinate? Usually we put off getting our work done because it’s a tedious or boring task that we really want to avoid; or maybe the task is something really difficult that we don’t exactly know what to do.
Here's what our team thoughts on procrastination, and what it means:
Nia Phillip, Founder
There are 3 major reasons I procrastinate. I get tired. As much as I believe in the power of self-care. I'm not always a very good practitioner. I have a demanding full-time job, especially this time of year and growing a digital media company is no easy task. Other times, I get afraid, it's momentarily paralyzing fear. I never remain there but it always comes. Then there are times that I get overwhelmed. Overwhelm forces me to procrastinate until I get some clarity and delegate. So procrastination tells me I need rest, I need to move past fear, or I need to get clear and delegate.
Stephanie Porter, Brand manager
My first run in with procrastination goes back to middle school. I use to wait to the last minute to finish assignments because I knew school didn't take real effort. Fast forward years later, I'm now a business woman tasked with get things done daily. Now, procrastination is deeper than just waiting until the last minute: it's evolved into a copping mechanism used to feed my fears. When I'm not confident, I procrastinate. When I'm in a space of comparison, I procrastinate. When I'm not focused, I procrastinate.
Overall, procrastination is a sign that I'm scared to do something. What pushes me through is knowing that what I fear the most is that thing that's going to get me to the next level. There's no secret to beating this resistance to the work. I find it best to make a plan, focus and follow through.
Narsha Njoya, Creative designer
I've experienced procrastination is a product of intense anxiety and fear. It's not something I've conquered, and may honestly be the undoing of so many who so promise but have yet to overcome the hurdle of just getting started. Especially if the mindset is that they never think they can do anything until it's done. Unhealthy and shows that something is not flowing. Be it that the task itself is not for you or you need to get started so you can get a closer look at what is causing it.
Jashonda Williams, Editorial
I believe it's the moments when we're procrastinating or aren't feeling our best that reveal the most about us. We learn so much about ourselves when things aren't ideal and we're forced to really assess what we want out of life and what we've been putting into it. The truth is, it doesn't matter how type A you are if you aren't in the right line of work, it can be hard to find the motivation to do something when you don't feel like it.
The idea is that it’s perfectly normal and OK to procrastinate, the issue is how much time are you really wasting and why you procrastinate the way you do. If you know the why and can identify the real reasons you struggle with focus and productivity, it will be much easier finding ways to combat it. Remember that taking short breaks to refresh your mind or even go back and do more research before diving into a project can be a healthy thing – it’s when you actually have all that you need and are still running from the work that causes a problem.
How do you push past procrastination to get the work done?