Procrastination: Why do I waste so much energy putting off doing things?

Procrastination …

…the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

Procrastination is a bizarre form of paralysis.  Why do I waste so much energy putting off doing things?  Especially things that I actually want to do?!

An example, to show you what I mean – I recently spotted some really lovely, quirky thank you cards (from, if you must know) and I thought it would be a grand idea to pop a card in the post to say thank you to my clients for their support over the last 12 months.

Two weeks later, the cards are still sitting on my desk, unwritten, and beginning to take on human characteristics – they are staring at me, accusingly!  And I am really don’t like their tone of voice either!

What’s that all about then?!

Make tea to avoid making a decision

To solve this minor mystery, and to delay a little longer on the task of actually writing my thank yous, I went and made tea.  It’s a well-known fact that tea is fundamental to problem solving, so cuppa in hand, I sat down to ponder.

As I was drawing up my list of excuses (too busy that day, writing too scruffy another day, writing hand too sore following challenging yoga pose the night before etc. etc.) an image of a Facebook post floated into my mind – you know the one, you’ve seen it countless times

Feel the fear, and do it anyway!

Oh my goodness…. I was afraid!  Not of the cards, that would be silly….. although I was getting very concerned about their attitude!  I had a bunch of fears around what my clients might think of me when receiving my quirky little thank yous.  Would they think I was a bit weird to send such a note, a bit too “forward”?  Would they appreciate the heartfelt thanks or see it as something more commercial?  These thoughts were actually holding me back from doing what I wanted to do.

Somewhere along the line between idea and action, my procrastination meant that I had lost the impulse to “do it anyway”.

More tea plus biscuits

This realisation was quite something, and I thought that was it for the day – but oh no!  More was to come!   What if there were other little things each day or each week that I don’t follow through on because of a fear about the outcome?  This was getting serious – more tea, and biscuits, were required.

Was I living a fear based lifestyle?

Was I wasting my precious energy having all these fabulous ideas that I then put off doing or held back from?  Sad to admit, but the answer was yes.  Procrastination was getting in the way of my progress.  In quick succession I was able to think of half a dozen little ideas that had never made it past thought and into reality.  Hmmmm… frustrating!

A couple of biscuits later, I made another shocking connection.  My therapy business is all geared around raising energy levels and using coaching techniques to help people move forward.  I have a really effective toolkit to do this, yet here I was realising that my fears over big and little things are zapping my own energy and actually preventing me from doing all sorts of things.

My lightbulb moment was to realise that if I stop procrastinating and just get on with it, if I “feel the fear, and do it anyway” then I can use my precious energy to do the stuff I love instead of wasting it on worry and fear.

More tea, anyone?

If you are procrastinating and struggling to take the first step forward or raise your energy levels – contact me for a chat to find out how I can help (aside from providing tea and biscuits!!)