Therapy Blog

Procrastination

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When it comes to not getting things done, we can be extremely creative about feeling good about it. Does this sound familiar, “To be at my most productive, I need some down time.” Or, “Sleep is really important, so I’ll just sleep in today . . .”

It’s when you wait until later to get something done that you know would be more useful to finish up in the now. We are more likely to do this when we are not clear about what it is we are really trying to accomplish—that is, when we aren’t sure which need is trying to get met by accomplishing the goal.

Mindful clarity helps follow through

Be genuinely clear about what you are really needing to accomplish, and you will be more likely to engage in behaviors that help move your towards “need fulfillment” (vs just getting the ‘task’ done).

For example, if you know that you need to wash your car, is it about cleaning the car so that the paint doesn’t crack, or is it about maintaining a sense of order and cleanliness in your life, or a little of both? If you think you are just trying to save the paint, when in reality keeping you car clean is part of a healthier “clean” lifestyle, then you may put it off because of the missed intention of living a clean life.

How the ego can sabotage us

We also put things off that threaten our ego’s way of doing things. If we are unconsciously more comfortable with chaos, we are more likely to leave things undone, and thereby create more chaos, which pleases the ego (i.e. it matches the unconscious expectation). This is why bringing consciousness to the unconscious (a mindfulness practice) helps us to re-wire our brain.

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