How often do we hear the phrase “do stop procrastinating!”. That, though, is not the problem. We are not born lazy. However, we are born into a family, time, and circumstances that are not our choice.
We all expect to thrive in life. A baby is born and does not know fear. The mother’s voice is familiar. Her smell is quickly familiar. It is pure chance that our caregivers may not be good ones, or worse, bad ones. A baby who is born to bad caregivers will have reasons in life to delay what they want to achieve due to negative injunctions: you are no good, don’t do that, don’t cry, you will never succeed.
If we grow up in such an environment we grow up to become procrastinators. We have the negative injunctions, so we believe:
- We will fail
- We have no talent
- We are of no value to society
- It will be to hard
Until we accept our past and move forward without resentment, we will continue to end unfinished jobs or delay starting one. We need to
- Break the task down into manageable chunks
- Ask someone else to buddy up with us, say for exercise, quitting smoking, study, etc
- Look for resources to enable us. A club, a class, a delivery service, the reminder in our phone, etc
- Have someone act as an interviewer to build confidence in seeking a job. The interview can be the hardest part
We may observe others who we decide are procrastinating. However, we do not have insight into their whole life. The student who is always late in the morning may have to take younger siblings to school, or care for a parent. They may have graveyard shift to help support their family if a parent has left for whatever reason.
We are not lazy beings. We may learn laziness if we have everything done for us. Therefore, as parents, part of raising a child includes giving them age appropriate tasks. My children’s first one was including putting away toys as a game. Before bath time, we would throw or place toys scattered around the floor in the toy box.
If you are an employer or teacher and someone is consistently late, talk to them in order to gain understanding. Don’t simply judge and sanction them. If your child seems lazy one day, check if they are feeling unwell.
If you want to run a marathon, you start with three mile runs. No one can run a marathon without putting in the practice and training. Do it with a friend and then the effort is much less. Getting out of the front door in the rain is much easier if you are going to meet a friend to run with.
In doing anything difficult, try to ask a friend to buddy up or help, or break it down to bitesize pieces. Eg, cleaning house is easier one room at a time, gardening is easier if digging one section at a time, or weeding a small area at a time.
Thus, we see procrastination is a symptom of a deeper problem. Too many people see it as the problem itself. Life becomes harder for those who have a caregiver, teacher, or boss, etc who think this way. It is a trap to see procrastination as the problem and nothing will be achieved from this belief.
Published by The Good Men Project