Procrastination Is Only A Symptom

How many times have you heard someone say “If only I had more discipline and didn’t procrastinate I would be so much better off”?!

While I agree with this statement – I don’t believe the issue is the lack of discipline or procrastination itself. You need to dig deeper. Let me explain.

I want you to think back to the last time were so immersed in an activity, that you hadn’t bothered to check the time. Before you know it you look up at the clock and it’s already 2am. You’ve just spent 4 hours giving all your mental focus to this task and it barely even felt like ‘work’.

Or the last time you spent your Saturday and Sunday’s voluntarily spending a few hours on a project without needing to ‘psyche yourself up’. You simply sat down, got shit done and afterwards felt the same high you get from doing a good physical workout.

Do you think that in either of the above scenarios, much procrastination would take place? I certainly don’t.

I firmly believe procrastination is the mind’s way of saying “stop doing shit that isn’t in your nature”. If you are truly engaged and listen to yourself by only doing work that plays to your strengths, you will no longer procrastinate. Like when your body rejects foreign matter, your mind will reject work that isn’t compatible to your nature. Furthermore, you feel more mentally exhausted as you’ve had to expend all the reserves of your willpower trying to labor through the task!

When you reward yourself with work that aligns to your nature, or your work DNA (more on this in future posts) you can literally spend hours accomplishing tasks that would normally take days.

Now there will always be tasks as part of your job that you are required to do which don’t fit your nature. You might view them as boring, tedious or repetitive. Guess what – someone else in the marketplace finds these very tasks interesting! Outsource these to others who happily spend hours doing these ‘uninspiring’ tasks, while you work on what inspires you and provides maximum value to your business.

Recently, I was working on an excel template and we required a document outlining our PR strategy based around the app development milestones and testing phases. Now I could have spent an hour creating this, or I could have spent $5 listing the job on Fiverr to someone who lives and breathes Excel… needless to say the excel sheet was completed within 2 hours and I was able to focus my efforts on tasks that offered higher value to Topme, such as marketing strategy and a refining our launch plan. I can guarantee I would have procrastinated like a mofo if I was required to build the excel template from scratch myself.

So next time you procrastinate I want you to ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What work provides high value for my business that I spend hours doing seamlessly?
  2. Can anyone else perform the tasks that I most procrastinate on?



Author: Allan Manuel

Allan specialises in helping disillusioned health workers find meaningful work. He is currently Head of Sales at Blys- Australia's most popular on-demand massage service. Get in touch with Allan here.

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