Why do I Procrastinate on a Project I Love?
Updated: Apr 12, 2022
I will start that project tomorrow
You decide on a project or goal to accomplish. You are excited about achieving this goal as you visualize what it will feel like once it is completed and all the sweat and hard work is behind you. You get everything ready to start. Tomorrow is the day. This is really going to happen. Then something pops up that gets you sidetracked. Getting back to it seems just beyond reach. You sit on it awhile, getting all your ducks in a row so that when you try to start it again, you will not be interrupted. Then something else comes along that keeps you from getting started. It may even be another project. You spend time thinking about this second project, you visualize its completion. You find yourself right back where you are with the first project – stuck with not being able to get it started. What the heck!
now it just seems like a burden to start
Finding yourself not working on a project that you really want to accomplish is a crazy phenomenon. It doesn’t make sense. You set your intentions on completing a goal that you never seem to be able to find the time to start. You become more and more frustrated because things keep popping up, keeping you from working on or finishing your project. After some time, your project now becomes a burden and the excitement of competing it begins to diminish. At some point you give up on your project but not before you have several other projects that are circling down this same drain. At some point you may even begin to doubt yourself. “Are you incapable of getting anything done? Are you just a lazy, unmotivated person?”, you ask yourself.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” HEBREWS 12:11
“Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.” PROVERBS 21:17
we are driven by our emotions
The truth is that, as human beings, we are driven by our emotions. If a project makes you feel good, you have no problem getting it done. If the project makes you feel drudgery or anxious, you tend to put it off because you want to avoid that negative, uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes that anxious feeling continues to grow and turns into fear. Fear of what? It could be a fear of failure or a fear that the outcome will not be good enough or not what you expected. Maybe it is a fear of the discomfort, exhaustion, sacrifice, frustration and even pain it will take to complete the project. Subconsciously, you begin to convince yourself that going through all of this negative, uncomfortable feelings and emotions is not worth the outcome of completing the project. The problem is that you change your focus from the end result to the process.
how to overcome discomforting emotions
Your desire to fear discomfort has a great impact on your emotions which can cripple your ability to make healthy decisions. If you can find a way to push through the hesitations and resistance to tackling notable endeavors, you have a much better chance of living a fulfilling, rich life of a variety of accomplishments. If you make the most of your opportunities by being wise and resisting the evil of negative emotions, you will experience a rich life and I am not talking about monetary, although financial stability is a result of hard work too. I am talking about joy and purpose in your life. The question becomes, “how” do you resist this powerful emotion of wanting to dodge uncomfortable emotions. The trick in knowing that you have complete control over your emotions and your thinking. It’s true.
"Your life is happening right now: Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now.” – ROY T. BENNETT
“…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.” – DALE CARNEGIE
find your quiet
You are a product of your thoughts. If you think negative thoughts, you are going to portray a negative persona about yourself. Mindfulness is having an awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and your environment in an objective way. When you find yourself “stuck” seemingly unable to push yourself through with self-discipline, then go somewhere and get quiet. During this quiet period, go through a process of mindfulness taking a personal inventory of everything going on inside your body emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and socially. Then give yourself stabilizing self-talk to reverse your negative emotions. You can give yourself affirmations. You could tell yourself to let go and walk away from whatever has you fired up as in a personal confrontation with someone. You could tell yourself that you may be afraid you will fail but that not ever starting is failure in and of itself.
find your direction
You can focus on the reward of completion rather than the pain of the process. If you find it hard to calm down your emotions, take a mini-mind vacation. In a quiet place, picture yourself somewhere in a beautiful, loving breath-taking place. See yourself enjoying the smells, colors, and peace in the air. Feel the love. Spend a few minutes at your mini-mind paradise experiencing it as if you were really there. After a few moments, come back to reality and go through your mindfulness exercise. Have a discussion with yourself. The stable, wise part of you can talk to the emotionally frazzled part of you and give you realistic, rational and prudent solutions on how to go forward. Make a decision to push through the discomfort. Keep your eye on the results, not the process, and give the experience time to reverse those negative feelings You’ve got this.
Many years my friend, many years....