Procrastination is action!
“The action of delaying or postponing something”, as the dictionary says. Sometimes procrastination is also referred to as inaction, which also points to the word ‘action’. Whichever way you look at it, it points to some form of action. Not standing still. Movement.
Most of us have probably at some point in our lives left something to the last minute. Remember that paper you had to write in school or the test you had to study for? The late nights right before a deadline?
Why is procrastination or inaction dreadful to some and not to others?
The dictionary explanation only mentions procrastination as delaying something. It does not define it as something negative nor positive. It just is what it is.
Here’s how I have defined procrastination to explain it to myself, as I have faced moments of inaction, of procrastination. When I have delayed starting something. I have thought of procrastination sort of like holding onto the internal resistance you feel, when faced with a task that feels uncomfortable.
It’s when you’ve already made a decision of the direction you want to move and know you should start taking action, yet your mind keeps finding reasons not to start, not to move.
Does this resonate with you?
This inaction after a decision has been made still means choosing to act within your current comfort zone, therefore not taking the uncomfortable or the courageous step you believe would move you forward.
What if you looked at procrastination from another angle?
What if everything was really about alignment and finding the path of least resistance?
I was listening to Abraham Hicks, who first explained procrastination like this: “Procrastination is what aligned people do when they are not aligned”. What a fresh point of view. It simply means not trying to force any action, but being true to your alignment and inner wisdom. Following the impulse that comes naturally to start taking action needed.
Following the path of least resistance.
Sometimes procrastination and moments of indecision have no big consequences. If we are to follow Abraham Hicks’ thoughts, procrastination, delaying taking action, can actually help you move forward faster. Once you are aligned and you’ve been able to follow the impulse your innate wisdom has provided and made your move.
However, prolonged procrastination has the potential to definitely change the course of your life. Just consider the following story.
I trained as a dancer in classical ballet. During my years in college I started to explore creating little pieces, small choreographies, myself. One of these experiments was in co-creation with a good friend, a poet. She had written a poem and I had choreographed it as a solo piece for myself. It was a hit!
I was asked to perform it at a well known dance festival, which was also a competition to discover new young talent. The chances were high that I would have been able to choreograph more and take a big step forward in my desire to dance and create movement.
I felt aligned.
I felt good.
I missed the deadline.
What followed was years of “what if” thoughts in my mind. I held onto them. Could not let go.
What if I had tried
What if I had taken action
What if I had followed what felt good
The consequences of inaction, of procrastination, were possibly life changing in this story. It made such a difference because I continued to think about it. My mind was occupied.
I learned from my procrastination. I learned from my mistake. (Which was not a matter of a few months, or even years. This took a while. Trust me.)
So, what can be done? How can you reconcile your mind and find such a place of clarity, which allows you to start taking action in the right moment?
Because clarity is key.
With reduced clutter and a clear mind you are in a better place and mental space to listen to your innate wisdom. Your intuition. Your gut.
It’s simple. Not necessarily easy.
Here are my three steps:
First: Stick with your decision. You’ve made your decision and the next step is to take action.
Second: Listen to your intuition, your internal wisdom, and take inspired action. The keyword here is inspired.
Third: Remember that procrastination is action. Inaction is a choice. It can be a positive sign or, if prolonged, can also have negative consequences.
Most importantly … take it easy with yourself.
Paula helps executives and leaders with simple clarity. She listens and guides with her intriguing questions (sprinkled with joy), resulting in personal insights and life altering new perspectives. Less overwhelm, more clarity. If you're interested in exploring more please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and SUBSCRIBE to my news.