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What’s Really Going On With Procrastination And How Do You Deal With It?

Written by: Dr. Adriana Popescu, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Do you ever procrastinate? Whether it’s filing your taxes, finishing that project at work, cleaning the house, or returning that call, there are things we often wait on, put off until the last minute, or never handle at all. In some way, shape or form we all procrastinate. What is really going with procrastination, and is it really that bad?

I have found there are many ways to look at procrastination. In my over 20 years of clinical experience as a licensed clinical psychologist, addiction and trauma specialist, and empowerment coach, I see a lot of clients who are dealing with the issues of procrastination and I have developed a set of unique and powerful ways of dealing with this phenomenon so that it no longer has to be a problem for people.


First and foremost, I recommend a shift in our perspective about procrastination. We can do this by asking questions. Does this task actually have to be handled right now? If we are not motivated to address something, what are we aware of? Can the person we are feeling guilty about not calling actually receive our call right now? Is this actually the time for this project or task to come to fruition? It is imperative, when looking at procrastination, to actually ask questions, to perceive a situation as it is, and to be aware of it without judgment.


I also ask my clients who procrastinate, do you actually enjoy the rush of waiting until the last minute? When we push things to the limit, waiting until the 11th hour to handle them, we often trigger adrenaline and cortisol in our bodies. For many, this is the thrill of the “game of procrastination” and that question of “I wonder if I can actually get all this done?” Many people actually need the motivation of the deadline finish things.


This way of handling things can sometimes be viewed as wrong or bad, but I tend to look at it from a very different perspective. What if there is nothing wrong with waiting until the last minute? If you know and trust yourself that you will get things done, it may actually be more fun for you to have that last-minute stress. What if this isn’t actually a problem? You want to become aware of what is going to work for you and create more for you.


Next, I would invite you to examine your general points of view about procrastination. Do you tell yourself stories about procrastination and are those stories really serving you? Our point of view creates our reality, so if you have the point of view “I don’t really want to do this,” or “You can’t make me do this,” or “This is boring or stupid,” it is going to make accomplishing whatever you are telling yourself a story about more difficult. What other way is there to look at the task before you? What if it could be fun to complete the task? More on that below.


Which brings me to another interesting and often-overlooked aspect of procrastination, which is perfectionism. Procrastination and perfectionism tend to go hand in hand because if you have high expectations of yourself and the fear that whatever you are doing will “not be good enough” or “will somehow be wrong,” then you may go to the conclusion that you will “never get it right” or “something will inevitably go wrong.” In coming to these conclusions, you will then paralyze yourself into inactivity and projects and tasks will never get started, much less actually finished. With all of this we are usually functioning from subconscious beliefs such as “I’m not smart enough,” or “successful enough” or “I’m not whatever enough.”


So now that we recognize what is going on with procrastination beyond the conventional view of it as laziness, what else can we do about it?


There are many ways, using the tools of Energy Psychology and Access Consciousness®, for example, to eliminate these judgments and conclusions. One is to ask, is this point of view actually true? Where and from whom did I buy this point of view? You can also use a tool such as tapping/EFT or the Access Consciousness Clearing Statement™ to change the energies of what you have decided is true and real that is holding you up. You can learn about how to do EFT in my video here.


Which brings me to another pragmatic step towards freedom, which is to get organized. There are many ways to do this. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s system or program here, you just have to find out what works for you to get clarity. How can you keep track of what you have to do? What will work for you to prioritize, organize, and stay on top of your tasks and to-do’s? What programs, products, and technology can help you? You also have to look at what has to be done now or what can wait and not have a judgment about it.


Finally a different way of dealing with all of this is to find what will actually make the work more fun for you. Can you pour yourself a glass of wine? Put on some music? Call a friend for assistance? What if getting things done doesn’t have to be hard or tedious? I encourage you to find ways to make finishing your to-do’s more pleasurable and enjoyable. You can also create an incentive to finish what you have been putting off. I often find that planning a fun activity like a trip to the spa or a favorite meal can incentivize me to finish what I have been putting off.


Lastly, if you are procrastinating please don’t beat yourself up, or buy the point of view of those who may be making you wrong for waiting until the last minute. There are many ways to look at this and lots of strategies to create something easier and greater.


Are you interested in hearing more? I recently went live on Facebook™ to talk about this topic and to offer some suggestions and possibilities for more ease. You can find that replay here. Please like, share, and subscribe so that others who can benefit from this information can find it.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Adriana!

 

Dr. Adriana Popescu, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addiction, co-occurring disorders, and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adriana has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world coaching and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She coauthored the Conscious Being, Conscious Recovery, and Conscious Creation Workbooks, and she hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health. She loves to empower people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.

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