Seeing procrastination at its finest
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I procrastinate when it comes to things I know I should be doing — like keeping my house in better order and clearing out more of my clutter. My problem is that I know it’s good to do those things, but I just don’t do them. I waste so much time. What is your advice?
Let’s look at procrastination from a different perspective. Like you, most people see procrastination as a negative experience, but I think it can be positive. Let’s see if looking at procrastination from another viewpoint can help you feel better about not clearing your clutter.
What are you doing while you are procrastinating?
We procrastinate mainly because we are not inspired by the things we think we should be doing. Instead of honoring the reason for our procrastination, we feel guilty about it. But what if what we are doing is something that we need or will serve us in the long run?
Is it what you really want to do?
Are the things you “should” be doing part of your agenda or someone else’s? We usually procrastinate when we think what we “should” be doing is not truly in line with our interests or values.
Have you noticed that you always find the time, money and energy to do the things you really want to do? When we are inspired, no one has to tell us to do anything. In your case, “decluttering” your house may not be that important to you.
Develop a new perspective
Rather than feel guilty about procrastinating, develop the perspective that procrastination may not be such a bad thing after all. What if, within your procrastination, you can find an important growth experience? You may think your procrastination is leading you astray when, in fact, it may be showing you the way.
Embrace what you are doing and stop calling it “procrastination.” We all have things that “have to” get done, and although we may procrastinate until the last minute, we tend to still get them done. See your desire to procrastinate as an opportunity to hone some latent skill, even if it’s daydreaming, surfing the Internet or watching TV. Maybe you just need to relax!
Make an effort to do what you love
Why not procrastinate with a new mind-set? Let go of judgments about what you are not doing, and use procrastination as a way to notice what inspires you or what you need. Put greater focus on what you are doing, and know that you will clear your clutter and put your house in greater order when the time is right — like when a national publication asks if they can feature your home in their next issue. If you agree, I’m certain your procrastination will turn into motivation to get your home orderly and clutter-free in an instant.
Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly educational establishment, where you’ll find inspiring classes geared toward personal growth and self-development. Visit YourHappinessU.com.