We Are All Avoiding Something, and it Sucks

Procrastination is one of those words that has a “less than” or “negative” connotation. In other words, people who procrastinate are not as good as people who don’t – people who procrastinate are deficient or inferior and people who don’t are superior.

Tim Urban, creator of the fantastically funny “Wait by Why” blog (and brand-new TEDx Speaker) begs to differ in one key way: we are actually ALL procrastinators. Most of us think of procrastination as putting off something known in the future (e.g. a deadline at work). But really, we are all delaying, dragging our feet or avoiding SOMEthing in our lives, whether it’s improving our health with exercise or learning to make your mom’s pasta like you’ve been meaning to for YEARS.

In the spirit and full-blown awareness of knowing we cannot do it all, and that our time is finite, it’s true that we need vision first – to know where we’re headed and what’s important to us will help us decide on where we put our energy.

But when we don’t put our energy toward those things that matter TO US, that’s where the trouble with procrastination comes in. That’s where regret comes in and where your self-esteem and self-worth really take a hit – and it sucks; you’re worth more.

That’s where, as Tim says, you become a spectator in your own life. Here’s a prescription to jumpstart your willingness to start:

  1. Watch Tim’s TED talk – Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. it’s hilarious, vulnerable and incredibly relatable. TO ALL OF US.
  2. Ask yourself what you’re dragging your feet on, that really matters to you – that would give you life and energy. Name it.
  3. Tell someone. Whether it’s an accountability partner, your best friend, a colleague at work. Tell them, “I’m struggling to make progress on something important to me. Can you help me by asking about how I’m doing with it? I’d like that.”

The Collective is one space to identify #2 and get support for #3. You can opt in to that easily and give yourself a huge pat on the back for taking action. Whether it’s with us or elsewhere, we hope you do – you deserve it.

In the spirit of #TBT, here’s Eric’s take on procrastination – moving AWAY from fear, it grows, and moving toward it allows it to diminish. Let’s go!