It’s very difficult to do something you simply don’t do anymore. I wanted to remember what procrastination felt like, so I tried to procrastinate in writing this article, and there I was trying to get into a mindset where I was avoiding doing something but I was actually doing the thing I was trying to avoid… and my head started to hurt!
So let me start by asking you a simple question: Would you like to stop procrastinating? Forever?
I’m guessing you’re reading this article because this sounds like a dream come true? I used to procrastinate. A lot. In fact, pretty much all of the time. Getting things done was so ‘last minute dot com’, I was the ultimate deadline king! Stress was part of my kingdom, along with nagging doubt, anxiety and chewed nails.
But now, I do the things I need to do, effortlessly.
Would you like to know how I got here?
OK, let’s start at the beginning.
According to Wikipedia: ‘Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.’
But why do we procrastinate?
Well, there’s whole heap of potential reasons like wanting to feel in control, instant gratification, overwhelm, fear of failure, lack of self-control, perfectionism, plain ol’ laziness, and even your mind making sure it’s doing the right thing and being super creative, as described in Adam Grant’s TED talk here, or even your mind-monkey taking over, as described in Tim Urban’s TED talk here.
But it really doesn’t matter why you’re doing it… If you’re in a hole, you’re in a hole. Someone gives you a rope ladder, you take it – however you got in there.
Here it is.
Procrastination doesn’t exist.
Yup, you heard that correct. That beast of a time vampire you’ve been trying to slay for decades… it’s made up, just like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. It’s actually thinking in your head which just ‘looks’ real. It really really looks (and feels) like there’s a gratification monkey in your head directing the show. It looks like you ‘need’ to do something else instead. It looks like the thinking you are having is absolutely true and needs actioning (or not in this case, but doing nothing is still a doing).
But it’s just your thinking.
The system (thought) is doing what is is supposed to do. You get a thought and the thought has a feeling attached to it. You get your version of reality as a result and it really looks like that version of reality is totally real and needs a response.
But what happens when you ‘know’ (and I mean really know) that this is all one big hoax, like waking up to discover that your life has been an ongoing episode of the Truman Show?
I’ll tell you what happens. You get to feel peace beyond understanding. You get an awareness of your own being beyond thought. You get alignment. And boy, does it feel good.
I’m no longer controlled by my thoughts, I let my thoughts flow through me. Want to watch Youtube instead of write an article…? Oh look, a thought… take-off… soar… fly away… peace. Thought comes back again. Youtube… Youtube… Youtube…. and instead of controlling, I am now at peace and can see there’s potential in the thought. I’m not in control here. Never was, never will be. So what is the Universe telling me now? I go onto Youtube and there, in all its glory is the answer to a nagging question I had about something earlier. That’s incredible. That’s alignment. And it takes a lot less effort than trying to control thinking – something that isn’t even real in the first place.
Syd Banks used to talk about the difference between ‘Personal’ thought and ‘Universal’ thought. We’ve spent so much time and effort trying to control the former that we’ve missed the bigger picture, or as Einstein succinctly put it: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Alignment with the system is possible for you too, as is an end to procrastination (which is ultimately only a misalignment of the system, a kind of kink in the chain), once and forever.
For you to end the battle with yourself, you just need to understand how the system works and get in alignment with it.