This blog publishes every Friday at 5:00 am. I am often sitting down to start a new post at 11:00 pm on Thursday evening. This was the case last Thursday with the “Last Minute Post“. Today’s post is the result of allowing the question “What Drives Procrastination”? marinate for a week.
In reflection, I discovered the following underlying drivers for my own procrastination tendencies:
The drive to crank out leading-edge thought-provoking content paradoxically gets in the way of producing useful insights. Placing an expectation on oneself that any endeavor must be perfect gets in the way of getting started. Unless there is a clear strategy to move from step 1 to step 10 resulting in perfection, taking step 1 can be challenging. Focus shifts to the next project idea when a vision doesn’t come into place quickly for the actions required to achieve that perfect objective. Once a project can be envisioned and the steps to get there formulated (the path ahead is very clear) – the next driver of procrastination rears its ugly head.
I consider myself a visionary. 90% my satisfaction comes not from a job well done, but from a job well thought out. The motivation for the next project becomes the driver of procrastination on the current endeavor. When the imagined outcome is as satisfying as manifesting the true outcome – the steps required to actually make something happen do not add much to one’s satisfaction. This is not laziness. It is not as though the tasks ahead are so difficult that focus shifts to other projects, they are just too boring.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If a project has components of an ethical dilemma or potential for disproportional benefits it can lead to avoidance. Rather than engage the ethical considerations and navigate a path forward of acceptable actions and outcomes focus shifts to projects absent of any ethical dilemmas.
These are my top 3 drivers for procrastination behaviors. Within each of these drivers, there is an emotional component. Overcoming them is not a matter of developing greater emotional intelligence but rather cultivating greater emotional maturity.
What are your top 3 procrastination drivers?
How does becoming more aware of your own emotional processes lead to a greater understanding of your strengths and blind spots?