Why We Procrastinate

Procrastination.

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.

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About Stacy

Stacy Rust is a marketing strategist, writer, and advisor. Her mission is to get your work, your ideas, your products, and your services into the hands and hearts of more people. After working in Creative Services at the BBC Worldwide in London, and then as an Account Executive at a private advertising agency in Minnesota, she struck out on her own to provide fresh, unique, and in-depth strategy to companies around the world. Today, Stacy leads her global community of thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives with insightful advice and practical strategy on how to create impactful work, build an eager audience, develop messages that spread, and grow thriving businesses from the ground up.


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