“Procrastination is not the cause of our problems with accomplishing tasks; it is an attempt to resolve a variety of underlying issues.” Neil Fiore, “The Now Habit”
What does this mean? It means great news for procrastinators! In a world of go go go and get more more more it shouldn’t surprise us that anyone not doing or going or earning or what have you are given the vile and sticky label of “lazy” or the milder, yet still distasteful label of “disorganized” or worse yet, “ornery” – and to be honest we, me and my procrastinating posse for whom Neil’s book was written, often pin those labels on ourselves. Ouch!
Nonetheless, according to Dr. Fiore these labels are totally false. What? That’s right. He gives a phenomenal argument for what really causes procrastination along with prescriptions to combat this uncomfortable condition. According to Neil, procrastination isn’t a result of laziness, but rather a way to deal with a whole slew of debris floating below in those still waters.
So, what are some of these underlying issues? I’m glad you asked. They include, but are not limited to: “low self-esteem, perfectionism [when did average become shame-worthy?], fear of failure and of success, indecisiveness…ineffective goal-setting and negative concepts about work and ourselves.” His prescriptions for overcoming this dreaded disease include, but are not limited to: increasing positive self-talk, minimizing the fear to fail, enabling the freedom to play (and hence want to return to work), helping breakdown tasks for the overwhelmed, helping to set realistic goals, helping readers find their “flow” and more.
So, Step #3 Stop berating myself for “being lazy” and do some soul searching to find out what’s really putting the breaks on up there.
And for added levity and inspiration:
“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly” GK Chesterton as quoted in Gretchin Rubin’s “The Happiness Project”.