Procrastination, laziness, and fear

In my last post, I wrote about the value of listening to your laziness, rather than judging it, when you find yourself with little energy for a task. Maybe that lack of energy is telling you that it's simply not the right thing to do right now.

But then again, maybe you're just afraid.

How do you tell the difference?

Unlike laziness, fear is not lethargic. Fear feels like excitement. It is your body getting psyched up to do something important.

As a rule of thumb, if you find yourself getting really busy doing anything but the task at hand, it's a good bet that fear is involved.

It's also a good bet that, if you're experiencing laziness, fear isn't too far behind. 

After all, as soon as you drop something you don't want, the obvious next question is: What do you want? And that can be a scary question to answer. It's something I've been struggling with all week.

I don't have an answer yet to my own confusion, but I came up with this series of questions for engaging with procrastination that I thought might be helpful to share:

  1. What do I want?
  2. Why is it important? (If it's not important, see #1)
  3. What am I afraid of? 
  4. Is it worth the risk? (If it isn't worth the risk, see #1)
  5. What is there to do now? (If it's not obvious what to do, ask for help -- or see #1)

Don't get tricked into thinking that you have to answer these questions in order, or that you will ever come up with final answers for any of them. 

More importantly, don't get tricked into thinking that you don't have time to ask the questions.

You do.

There is nothing that you absolutely must do. You have permission to take a break to sort out your priorities. You created your "to do" list, and you can change it at any time.

I'd love to hear what you come up with.