November 19, 2005 10:47 am

Procrastination

:note: Silverchair – “Tomorrow”

Lots of people think procrastination means being lazy. This is not so. In fact, it really has nothing to do with being lazy. It has everything to do with being fearful and anxious.

Don’t believe me? If someone were to give you a project and tell you that you have a 100% chance of success – there’s no way this project will turn out less than perfect – wouldn’t you start on it right away? I sure would. That’s the test. If you still wouldn’t work on it, that’s you being lazy.

Procrastination is all about questioning your abilities, a lack of self-trust, a project that has “lost the magic,” and the fact that the ultimate evaluation causes fear and anxiety.

In order to fix this you have to get more courageous, which means you must be willing to be uncomfortable. If you never break out of your comfort zone, there’s no way you’ll have confidence because you’ve never took on something and mastered it. That’s how you build confidence. You have to practice what you fear. If you’re afraid to use a particular color in a project because you don’t like it, or because your teacher doesn’t like it, just do it anyway. Try. Experiment. Put more trust in yourself and the fact that you’ll do well on the project. Once you trust yourself to do well, it’s almost like you’ve got the guarantee I mentioned above.

To beat procrastination, you must diminish the power the project has over you. It’s not a life-or-death situation, it’s a project. Chances are, if you try, you’ll do well. So why all the freaking out? You’re thinking about the end result instead of just DOING the project. You’re way too far down the road. Slow down and think about what you’re doing now, not what it will come out like in the end.

This public service announcement brought to you today by Meggan, champion procrastinator, courtesy of her Psychology of Creativity class.

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