The Blog.

Procrastination: A is for Aaa don’t wanna

14 Feb 2011 | Business Life, Personal Productivity

In one of my recent teleseminars I talked about Procrastination and Productivity and shared three main reasons why we procrastinate, one of which is down to desire – we simply don’t want to do it.

Lack of desire can be a good prompt to review why something is on our list in the first place. On the other hand, it’s not always logical or that simple, so here are some thoughts on how to dig into that desire.

Desire comes from Passion.

When we’re doing what we love, what we’re passionate about, motivation comes very naturally, and that’s why I help my clients design their business around their strengths, values and passion.

Having said that, we still have jobs on our to-do list that we’re not passionate about, that need to be done, and that’s when it’s good to reconnect to our purpose.

Desire comes from Purpose.

As mums, there are plenty of things we do, which are not particularly pleasant or enjoyable, because they serve a higher purpose – like changing nappies, or standing our ground and putting up with the tantrums when it would be so easy to give in, or putting on a brave face when dealing with needles and creepy crawlies. There are plenty of things we do for our children that take us beyond our comfort zone, but we do them because we see a need, a purpose, a compelling reason.

So whether it’s getting to grips with the books or making those sales calls that you’re procrastinating on, ask yourself what purpose it serves. Your reason to do it needs to be bigger than all the reasons you can think of not to. If it doesn’t serve a big enough purpose, take it off the list.

Desire comes from Enjoyment.

Children are great at finding ways to put off or distract from doing something they don’t want to do – whether it’s putting their shoes on, tidying their toys away or going to bed. When our son started getting words from school to learn at home, he would fidget, be tired, thirsty, hungry or change the conversation when we suggested spending time on learning his words. When my husband made it into a game, the tables turned, and he now asks us to do his words with him.

Just as we can turn chores into games, make silly noises to encourage babies to eat, race each other to see who gets dressed first, we can apply our creativity to the tasks that keep clinging onto our to-do list. How can you do things differently to make it more fun? Perhaps even do it with company, or set yourself a challenge?

Of course lack of desire is just one of the reasons why we procrastinate. Sometimes even when we want to do something, there are deterrants and distractions which get in the way.

What are you procrastinating on? Share with us in a comment below.

Credits: Image by SteveFE. Title inspired by @porridgebrain

4 Comments

  1. Naomi

    I try not to procrastinate – at the moment I am holding back getting in touch with people to see how things are moving along. Procrastination this week is not a problem.

    Reply
  2. Grace Marshall

    There’s definitely a difference between procrastination and choosing to hold back – deciding ‘not right now’ – whether because you’ve identified a better time for a particular action, or because ‘now’ is the time to focus on something else. Where the line lies between the two is a very subjective thing, and the more honest we are with ourselves the more helpful. Glad to hear it’s not a problem for you 🙂

    Reply
  3. Julie Metcalfe

    I’ve been procrastinating all week about a telephone call I need to make, but after reading your post I’ve just done it and do you know it went great. By putting it off I blew it completely out of proportion. Thanks Grace!

    Reply
    • Grace Marshall

      Yay! Feels great doesn’t it? Well done you Julie 🙂

      Reply

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Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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