Why We Procrastinate


It can be our worst enemy, always keeping us from doing what’s most important.

It hangs there, a success barrier, keeping us in unhealthy situations, and preventing us from experiencing our fullest potential.

Procrastination can seem like a frustrating mystery.

Why put off doing important work?

Why stall and avoid instead of facing the things that will make our lives better?

Why postpone exercising, asking for that promotion, hiring an assistant, or making that important phone call?

Turns out, we are not lazy, irresponsible, or illogical.

Procrastination is actually a great protector.

It’s an annoyingly reliable signal of danger.

It pops up every time we sense that we are not safe moving forward.

The purpose of procrastination is to keep us out of harm, and its alarm bells go off almost without fail.

We humans are smart, adaptive beings (with a keen sense of when something feels off).

We can instantly feel when something bad might happen as a result of our actions.

And, procrastination is a common warning light that switches on.

Procrastination is the indicator of something that requires attention.

When we find ourselves stuck, standing still, waiting, procrastinating… it’s not a character flaw, it’s a sign that something very important needs attention.

There’s an issue somewhere that needs to be resolved.

Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the signal of a problem.

Procrastination shows up when the potential consequences of moving forward have outweighed the current consequences of staying put.

In moments like these that it’s vital to pay close attention.

Dig deeper.

Look harder.

Find the issue.

Procrastination is not an irrational bad habit.

Something is up.

Figure out what it is.

The reason we procrastinate is simple, to keep ourselves safe.

But, staying safe can also mean putting off what is important, especially in our work.

Sometimes moving forward requires that we look harder at what is standing in our way and move around it rather than simply trying to push through.

Moving forward usually means asking tough questions and digging up the truest answers.

It’s foolish to live life ignoring the signals. And, procrastination is one of our most important signals.

So, pay attention.

Look closer.

Procrastination is information, so use it wisely.

2 thoughts on “Why We Procrastinate

  1. Wow! Were you reading my mind? Thinking of me? You must have been. I have a history of switching gears way too often and not sticking with something long enough to make an impact. I procrastinate like crazy too. Internal work take a lot of learning, listening and quite space to master. Which is why many of us tend to head right back to old ways. You nailed it when you mentioned taking the time to recognize what is happening and dig deep to uncover why. When I am feeling fear, anxiety, doubt, (and now) procrastination coming on, one of the first things I do is slow the F down, take a deep, moving breathes, and say out loud…”Thank you. I see you. I acknowledge you. I release you.” Thank you for this message today. I needed it.

  2. Stacy, I loved this post. I notice I only procrastinate when I feel fear. It falls in line with most of what you said and I used to eat myself up about it. I’ve never been lazy and I actually despise being behind on tasks. But sometimes, on the BIG steps forward, I hold myself back and do everything else instead. This was a fresh perspective that actually motivates me to tacke those tasks. Thank you for sharing!

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