What I’d like to do right now is
ride my bike,
do yoga for the second time today,
eat cookies and drink iced coffee even though its 2 p.m. and it may keep me awake tonight.
I would also like to work in my garden.
Any garden, really.
I’ve been known to pull weeds at the neighbors house just because I see them. I’m itching to redo an overgrown patch in front of my friend’s lovely lawn, because its a mess and I could make it better in an hour.
I’d love to take off this afternoon and play. I’d drive to the mountains and hike. Or I could bake something with all those overripe bananas I’ve been saving in the freezer.
This is called productive procrastination, and I am so good at this it should be call Lisa’s favorite work avoidance strategy.
Who needs to work all the time? Not me.
Once I have the thought, “on Thursday, I’ll write a blog”, the intention is out there and the avoidance begins!
I have been so productive today.
I went to the grocery store, returned an item to the amazon drop off site, set up home and auto insurance policies, donated some old glasses, took a long walk at Wash Park, had a long talk about one of my personal challenges, and even meditated.
And now you and I are just talking about what happens when we want to avoid a job we’ve given ourselves, or worse, a job someone else has given us.
Luckily, I came across several articles on procrastination in my in-box just today.
Looks like its not just you and me suffering from this.
What kind of procrastination do you fall into?
- Arousal procrastination – good for people who love the thrill of getting something done at the last minute. Extra points if you stay up most of the night before your deadline!
- Avoidant procrastination – for when you fear the outcome of your task. You may think it won’t be good enough or that someone will criticize you.
- Impulsivity and Distraction procrastination – best for those who just don’t feel like adulting today and are willing to wait and see if there are any real consequences of their behavior.
- Productive procrastination – my favorite. Working on other tasks to avoid the one that you are dreading.
The cost of procrastination?
While, I love to have fun with this, it’s not a pretty picture.
Procrastination habits can lead to more anxiety and a slow decline into depression.
These feelings can drive procrastination and increase after procrastination.
Is it a cycle you’re caught in right now?
Most of us do get caught in the procrastination cycle sometimes.
I’m not going to tell you how to avoid procrastination like most of those articles do.
I suspect procrastination is just the tip of the iceberg and there are other things you need to talk about, the real issues causing you emotional pain, stress and sleepless nights.
Trying to avoid feelings is what keeps you in your procrastination cycle.
Procrastination may be just one of the problems.
Therapy can help.
Lisa Yaeger, LPC