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Day Twenty-Four: Procrastination

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I was looking for something to post this morning, and happened onto a book called "Shaping Your Life" by Laurel Fuller. This is the page that I flipped open:

The greatest dreams of man often die in doubt, fear, hesitation, and passivity. A well-known manufacturer of shoes recently has run a series of advertisements showing people engaged in different sports activities with the caption, "Just do it" Easier said than done! Why is it difficult to act on the ideas you have? Why do people procrastinate and then berate themselves for wasting their lives?
Interestingly, procrastinating and then berating myself for wasting my life is exactly what I spent all day yesterday doing. As a matter of fact, I managed to procrastinate every single thing I had planned for the day, even to the point of being late to pick up my granddaughter. It was an orgy of self recrimination. Intrigued, I read further, looking for answers:

Oftentimes, when there is difficulty with physical activity to reach an ideal, it is because there has been insufficient mental activity to create the desired thought-form image. We are mental creatures first, and our physical bodies merely serve as residences for the activity of our minds. When there is hesitation physically, in all cases it is because there has been mental hesitation first.

This sounded true to me. I can feel the hesitation in me, the doubt, the not quite being sure of myself or my decisions. When I am sure, when I don't have any mental hesitation at all, I leap right in, seemingly fearless - probably foolhardy. So, I read on...
The secret of "follow through" is to create a complete mental image of the desired results. When you have completely formed the ideal with visualization, it is relatively easy to determine what steps of action to take to cause the ideal to manifest. when the thought form is incomplete, it is no wonder we hesitate to take a step.
And I'm not entirely sure I agree with this part of it. I think that I often hesitate because I have no confidence in my abilities to "pull it off", or I have lost faith in my ability to make good decisions, or I am unconvinced that the outcome will be beneficial to me.

What do you guys think? What causes you to hesitate? How can hesitation be overcome? Should it be overcome? What do you procrastinate? How do you get around the "procrastination problem"?


Anonymous said...

So this whole thing about procrastination got me thinking, and I pulled out a book I used a long time ago when I was having major anxiety and stress over dogs I was training.

It's the "Feeling Good Handbook", and there is a whole chapter on procrastination. I'll share some of it tomorrow.

For today, I think I'm just going to notice (hopefully without judgment) all the things I am currently procrastinating. Maybe even jot them down so that I'll have something definitive to "work on" tomorrow.

I'm really curious to see what you guys have to offer on the subject.

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Here's something really interesting... I just clicked on the "Daily Om", and guess what the subject is? Procrastination!! I must be in sync with something today, huh?

Cindy H said...

I procrastinate so much that I have a joke about it: "I was going to procrastinate today, but I didn't get around to it!"

The thing I procrastinate about the most is paying bills! And it's not even ALWAYS because I don't have enough money (although that is often the case). I honestly don't understand why I have such a mental block or such a problem with the bill paying process - maybe I'm resentful. That's the first thing that comes to mind - that I resent the fact that I have to fork over all my hard earned money to others for the things I need/want. Most of it seems like such a rip-off, especially the utilities. I resent the fact (at least I'm assuming it's a fact) that I'm paying more for items than they are worth and that I'm just making somebody really rich even richer. I try to tell myself that "there is enough money in the world to go around" so it's okay, but it still makes me angry. So I think that's why I procrastinate about paying the bills. Plus I just hate the whole process of it. It's probably one of the least favorite activities I can think of to do.

The other thing I procrastinate about a lot is calling friends and I have no idea why I do that because it's not something I don't LIKE to do, I just "never get around to it". (Thank God for invention of e-mail and blogs!!)

The interesting thing I have noticed about my procrastination is that AFTER I do something I have put off, even paying bills, I usually feel proud of myself, so you would THINK that that feeling in and of itself would be a motivator.

I plan on trying the visualization thing next time I find myself procrastinating about something - I will totally visualize doing the whole thing start to finish in my mind and see if that helps me to "just do it".

Anonymous said...

I call it Prograsstination!

Anonymous said...

What causes you to hesitate? How can hesitation be overcome? Should it be overcome?
I think for me the fear of failure and others knowingly saying that your project wouldnt work. You fear that others fulfilling their predictions about you will be true!

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