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This year, I am going to get very personal with you. Instead of concentrating on professional development, my hope is to share with you some personal development that will offer you ideas that will change the way you look at yourself and how you work.
Do you see this picture? This is a piece of my artwork. When I paint, I paint my emotions or my mood and this piece is called “PROCRASTINATION.”
The black bottom of the painting represents the void of being unable to start anything and waiting and waiting until the last moment. The white strip is the area that we must push thru to get into creativity and get things done. The wild colored area is the final step of the journey where things actually get done!
Now you may or may not have the same issue I have, yet I am going to be very authentic and real here. I have struggled with procrastination my entire life (ask my mother)! I have felt guilty. I have felt hopeless about it. I have felt it drag me down and affect my self-esteem. It has definitely affected many different portions of my life and work…and I will share with you what I finally learned.
If you use the “Google Machine” and type in “procrastination” the first thing that comes up is that procrastination can be a mental illness. That explains a lot!
But digging a little deeper I found this. There is one website that says there are four types of the "P" word, as if ONE was not enough:
I wish I knew what "FUN" procrastination was because it never seems that way. I suffer from none of those listed.
I finally figured out what shape my dawdling takes. I need inspiration! I need to find creativity. And if you don’t know this, it is going to be important to you.
The more stressed out we are, the less sleep we have, the more allostatic load we carry, the less curiosity and creativity we have. Allostatic load is the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol. Curiosity and creativity are actually neuro-hormones. And those healthy neuro-hormones are pushed out by the allostatic load.
When we experience procrastination, we become more stressed out, we carry a greater allostatic load, and then it becomes nearly impossible to find our inspiration!
OK, so what can we do with this information? As with anything, admit you are procrastinating. Then look at your life…no doubt there is going to be some intense stress somewhere. See if you can escape that particular stress for just an hour or two. Sit yourself down with NO DISTRACTIONS and FOCUS. We are adults we know how to do this.
“What I’ve found is that while everybody may procrastinate, not everyone is a procrastinator,” says APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University.
In essence, beyond all the brain science I can come up with around this topic, it really is about borders and boundaries in the end. I need to make it easy for myself to pick up the challenge in front of me. The only way I can do that is to put up my hands and say to others, I am going to focus and get some things done for the next two hours, DO NOT interrupt me unless someone is dying or the server goes down!
Taking on procrastination is a brilliant way to start the new year and new decade.
Deborah Monroe is one of 18 Master EQ practitioners in the world, through the Global EQ Community of 6 Seconds. She's also an associate with the Institute for Organizational Performance and an HDI business associate. Working with all levels of executive leadership, management, and individual contributors, Deborah concentrates on integrating humans and process to create a balanced working environment. Her aim is to build understanding and empathy, creating a positive bottom line through employee and customer retention.
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