This week in our Reflection Friday conversation ……. Why Do We Procrastinate?

This week in our Reflection Friday conversation ……. Why Do We Procrastinate?

Twice a month Business Rescue Coaching hosts a virtual community open to all women called Reflection Friday. It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, learn from each other and take our learning forward into an action item for the following week.

Our conversation this week was about procrastination. We all do it, but if we start to understand why we do it, we can gain control and move forward.

As defined in the dictionary, procrastination means to delay or postpone action; to put off doing something. It is easy to come up with excuses or justify why we can’t do something. I can be the queen of procrastination at follow up phone calls to prospects. “I don’t want to be too pushy”. “I don’t want to come across desperate or needy.” “I have to get __________ done first” (and there is an array of words I come up with to fill in the blank!) These types of conversations – justifying the reasons for procrastinating – creates an endless spiral.

We instead talked about the emotions behind procrastination. Emotions drive our behavior. If our behavior is to procrastinate, there must be an emotion that leads us to put off doing something. Our participants shared openly and honestly about a range of emotions. The easiest emotion to talk about was disliked. If the task is something we don’t enjoy doing, we are very likely to postpone it. However, it was the deeper and what we perceive as negative emotions that were harder to admit to – such as fear, anxiety, judgment/self-judgment or disappointment. Sometimes, a multitude of emotions can hit us at once which can cause us to really get stuck. And yet, as one person started to talk about the emotions around procrastination, others felt comfortable chiming in. What we all agreed on is that moving into procrastination doesn’t help us achieve our goals, build our business or be the person we want to be.
So, what can we do?

  1. Become more literate in emotions. I’m a fan of the book The Unopened Gift by Dan Newby and Lucy Nunez. It has become a great reference for me to learn more about emotions and the slight nuances that differ one from another. There is a fascinating chapter about emotional clusters that helps to explain those emotions that seem similar or are often confused. 
  2. Acknowledge and be with the emotion. We have been trained that there are good emotions and bad emotions. We’re led to believe that we should focus on good emotions. If someone is sad, we tell them to cheer up. And yet, experiencing any emotion fully is really the only way to come out of it and move forward. If an emotion lasts for a long time it becomes a mood, so it is important to work through our emotions fully to ensure we don’t get stuck in an emotion that doesn’t serve us over the long-term.
  3. Think about the belief that is stemming the emotion – for example, “if I call that prospect, I’ll come to seem desperate for their business”. In our Secrets of 6-Figure Woman program, we offer participants a powerful methodology to work through beliefs that may lead to behaviors such as procrastination so you can take the necessary steps with more comfort and confidence.

I was the Queen of Procrastination when it came to prospecting calls. Following the 3 steps above helped me deal with the emotions of anxiety, anticipated feeling of disappointment and hopelessness every time I looked at my phone. I can’t say I love doing making the calls, but I’m more comfortable with the process and I resist the temptation to procrastinate. I see the results in the growth of my business and I know you can too!

If you’d like to be a part of our Reflection Friday community, visit our website – to register for free. 

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