When is Procrastination NOT Procrastination? By LA Bourgeois
Let’s welcome back LA Bourgeois as she shares with us “When is Procrastination NOT Procrastination?” Enjoy!
When it is preparation.
Wait, what?! Procrastination can be preparation? How does that work?
Hard to believe, I know.
Certainly, procrastination can be an indicator of resistance. When you find yourself procrastinating on a project, take a moment away from that guilty feeling and ask what the obstacle or challenge is.
If you can define the obstacle or challenge, that means your procrastination is probably stemming from resistance to confronting this issue.
However, sometimes procrastination is your brain working its way through a problem, preparing for the next step of a project without your direct intervention.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Process
One example I love to cite comes from Adam Grant’s book, “Originals.” In this chapter, Grant speaks about Martin Luther King Jr. and his process.
During the lead-up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he was constantly working and writing other pieces. And, even though he had ample time to compose this speech, he delayed acting until the last minute.
Even as he mounted the podium, changes still popped up. Mid-speech, Mahalia Jackson yelled out, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”
The result is one of the most iconic moments of the twentieth century.
What looked like procrastination to the people closest to him was actually his brain working its way through the problem of what to say to this crowd of over 250,000 civil rights supporters.
All of the writing and speaking at smaller venues (and from jail!) gave him the opportunity to work through the concepts he wanted to convey.
Yep. Those brilliant pieces which seem impromptu are usually the result of a mind that has been working on this challenge for years.
So, how can you tell if you are procrastinating or preparing?
The cool thing is that you don’t have to figure that out. By taking just a few moments each day-ish to think about the project that is the focus of your procrastination, you can begin to unwind the conundrum and break down your resistance.
Here are some guidelines to assist you in this process.
- Pick a small amount of time to think about the project.
What you want is an amount of time that doesn’t feel overwhelming and that you can easily do every day.
Even as little as thirty seconds can make a difference. Yep! Your brain only needs thirty seconds to begin to form new neural patterns that will create the connections that will break through your issue.
- Give yourself a break.
After you have completed thinking about the project, let it go!
By freeing your mind from this constant contemplation, you make space for the answer to show up and for new ideas to begin to form.
- Switch your feelings of guilt for ones of triumph.
Make sure to give yourself an out for those days when you aren’t up for contemplating this project at all by making this small step done every day-ISH.
Missing a day here and there is acceptable, and allowing for these moments of forgetfulness enables you to return to this contemplation with a positive feeling.
Devoting a few moments to just thinking about the project teaches your mind to focus on the troubling issue.
Connections will be made while you do the dishes. Barriers overcome as you fold the laundry. Flashes of brilliance will sneak through during walks with the dog.
And seemingly sudden realizations will open the door of the project once again.
If you think you’re procrastinating, give yourself a break. You could be in preparation mode—and who knows what amazing result is about to pop out!
ABOUT LA BOURGEOIS
Get more of her creativity ideas and techniques by subscribing to her newsletter at https://subscribepage.io/unlockyourcreativity.