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A different look at procrastination

As I am about to write this article, I realized that the last seminar where we dived into the procrastination topic was a while ago. No I haven't been procrastinating on it, it just hasn't happened.

Many people struggle with it yet very few do something about it right away. For me, whenever I want to change something in my life, it is important to first understand what is really happening on a conscious and subconscious level. Then after finding out the root of the issue, I can then go in and rewire my thoughts and behaviors since it is much easier to prevent falling back into the problem once the source is clear.

Some people say that procrastination is a good sign that shoes you really care about the outcome of something while others say that it comes from laziness. I'd like to look at it from a different angle by simply seeing it as an ability to misjudge the value of a task.

Let's take a look at the same scenario with two different outcomes. You set the alarm to wake up at 6 in the morning.

Scenario 1: You need to get up and head to work.

Scenario 2: You need to get up and head to the airport and catch your flight to the Maladives.

Which scenario would you not have a problem getting up to?

If you picked 1 then great you are in the 1% of people in the world. If you picked 2, then the reason why you might get up right away is because you value the outcome if you do a lot more than in situation 1. And you are not alone so no judgments here.

Simple things such as staying up late to watch something on Netflix instead of getting a good night sleep or not fully finishing a presentation because you feel that no one will reward you for it at work are typical things that set us back in the long run.

Procrastination can occur because of a false alignment with your values. Extrinsic motivation is a common example. We do things to impress others and get rewards such as praise. What about intrinsic motivation? When was the last time you went over the values you hold yourself to and reflect in your daily actions? It turns out that many people don't have a clear and present view of their values.

Another example is instant gratification. When we go on instagram and facebook instead of doing the things that will move the needle and get us to our desired goals. Why? Because social media gives us an instant rush of dopamine and makes us feel good. After a while, we form a habit where we go directly on our phones and just log on to social media without even thinking of doing it. It becomes an automatic process.

Going deeper, we might go into social media instead of doing what we are supposed to do for a hidden motive. Perhaps you don't believe in what you are doing. Perhaps you feel that it will not be successful. It can also be that you just don't want to do it and are being pressured by external influence.

You might be wondering, where is Jeury going with this? Well, at the end of the day, no one is responsible for us like we are. The longer we continue to have a disconnect with the importance of certain tasks that might not give us the instant gratification, the longer our goals will take to materialize. It is time to get your favorite drink and start thinking about why you are postponing the things that need to be done.


Jeury Tavares

PS: You know I wouldn't leave you hanging so here are a few questions to get you started in thinking about things.

  1. What is the most important thing you want to achieve in the next 5 years.

  2. What is the best thing you can do right now to get you closer to achieve it?

  3. Why haven't you done it yet?

  4. What will happen if you don't get started?

  5. Reframe the answers from question 3 to intrinsic positive sentences.

  6. Create a strategy that will make it easier for you to tackle those tough things with a smile.

PPS: If you have any other questions, I'd be more than happy to get on a call with you or via email and chat about it.

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