Nov 18, 2016

There is No Such Thing as Procrastination

For whatever reason, I’ve recently been noticing the Self-Development gurus have been writing about procrastination. Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to the end of the year and they want to remind people of all the things they wanted to do at the beginning of the year and haven’t done them. Maybe it’s because they have a course they want people to take to “cure” them of procrastination. Whatever the reason, it’s being brought to top-of-mind for millions of people. Here’s the interesting thing, procrastination doesn’t exist, at least in the way most people understand it. You see, procrastination is described as ” the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”. This definition explicitly puts the act of delaying into the realm of habit or intentionally making the decision to delay. What most people don’t understand is how the human brain is designed.

How the human mind works

The human brain makes up about 5% of a person’s body mass and it uses 25%+ of the total energy resources of a person. The brain is an energy hog. So, in order to conserve energy, the mind makes unconscious decisions as to what it is willing to expend energy. If it has the choice to think about something that’s difficult and will take a large amount of energy or something that it’s easy and requires little energy, it unconsciously and automatically goes to the the easier subject. This is why you find yourself dwindling time away on Social Media even when you know that important project is due tomorrow. The psychological name for this is Ego Depletion, not procrastination. The reason you automatically go for sugary, sweet carbohydrates when you’re stressed thinking about a difficult topic is because your brain wants the glucose to feed on and restore the energy level quickly.

So, what can a person do to avoid Ego Depletion and automatically going for the easier, less energy-robbing tasks? The first thing to do is relax so that you use less energy from anxiety and worry. The next thing is to stop labeling yourself as a Procrastinator. When you label yourself as something, then you identify with the behaviors associated with being that thing, which means you feel the need to have the behaviors associated with it because you are that. Third, pay attention to your internal dialog. When you use words like should, shouldn’t, must, mustn’t, need to, have to, and supposed to, you create a victim mentality. You feel out of control. Instead, use the words, “I choose to…” When the human mind chooses to do something, then it is in control. Try it and notice the difference when you choose to do something instead of feeling forced to so it.

Yes, procrastination doesn’t really exist. It’s a name people have given to behaviors. What they don’t understand is that the power to control the delaying of difficult tasks is within the mind, itself.

Change you thoughts. Change your life…quickly!

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+++++++++++++++About Dr. Edward Lewellen++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Edward Lewellen an expert in creating methodologies for people to learn to use their mind; their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and put them back in control of their lives and become top-producers. He is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager