Exploring ‘World-Class’ Procrastination
Posted November 30, 2015on:
There are exquisite pains and gifts within procrastination. When we put off beginning or completing a creative dream, we escape judgment and failure. . . Most of us are involved in procrastination to some degree–let’s bring it out into the open, speak of it with gentleness and humor–admit when it’s crushing us or stopping our joy.
–SARK, The Bodacious Book of Succulence
In July, I asked readers to take a one question poll and answer the following: What is the biggest obstacle you face in your creative life?
The second highest response after ‘finding consistent time to work on projects’ was ‘procrastination’.
I consider myself a recovering ‘world-class’ procrastinator. I often procrastinated with writing and creative projects because of fear, anxiety, ambivalence, not knowing how to ask for help and support, discomfort with ambiguity in the creative process, and not knowing how to start or stop a project. My procrastination pattern was both deep-seated and well-developed.
As creative people, many of us are struggling with world-class perfectionism issues. We usually suffer alone without support or guidance. We often feel guilty and angry about our behavior, but we rarely stop to ask why and how we developed these ways of being in the world. The work of one of my mentors, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy aka SARK has been of enormous help to me. Many of her books explore the varied facets of procrastination. Until we look at our emotional history of procrastination, our ability to change, interrupt and soften this pattern will be ineffective.
The questions below come from SARK’s Bodacious Book of Succulence. They invite you to explore more deeply the pains and gains regarding procrastination.
- Are you aware of procrastination in your life?
- How does procrastination affect you?
- In what ways do you stop yourself from experiencing joy or success?
- When do you first remember feeling procrastination?
- Were your parents procrastinators?
- Is someone close to you a procrastinator?
- What gifts do you receive from procrastinating?
My additional questions:
Do you delay on projects important to you even when you feel physical or emotional pain?
When you procrastinate do you find yourself saying that working last minute helps spur creativity?
Who might you become without this pattern of procrastination?
What kinds of activities do you never procrastinate on?