The holidays are over but my brain hasn’t quite accepted that yet. I’m still in lay-about mode.
In other words. I am procrastinating.
While on a walk yesterday I was thinking about all of the things I need to do and wondering why I hadn’t done them. Sure, for some, there are actual excuses for why they weren’t done. But if I’m honest, most of these things haven’t been done because I choose not to do them.
I began to dissect the word “procrastination,” what it is, why we do it, etc… And in essence, procrastination is avoidance.
Despite the fact that none of my clients have ever complained about my writing, I get extremely anxious when I have to write. I freeze up. I do the same thing with regards to writing here. I am afraid to speak.
So I put it off.
I label it as anxiety. It is anxiety but if I peel back those layers of anxiety what I am left with is the fact that I am making a choice. It is a choice born out of anxiety but it is a choice nonetheless.
Avoidance is a choice.
We never think about the act of procrastination in that manner because we don’t even view avoidance as an action. We view it as an inaction. A non-choice.
But it is an action. It is a choice.
The only way to move on from the cycle of avoidance is to spell out that choice. What does the decision to procrastinate say about your values? What is it saying about what you really want your life to be?
Procrastination is saying “I value this more than that.”
We are saying to ourselves and the world that we value watching a TV show over having a clean home.
We are saying that we value reading online forums over our job. We are saying we value reading online forums over making money.
When we feel like procrastinating we turn off our minds so that we don’t have to deal with the reality of the choice. But if we were to outline the exact choice we are making, maybe we’d all procrastinate a little less.
We need to turn on our minds.
We should never be in a state of mind where we view any of our actions as inactions. We should always live conscious lives.
I understand the inclination to turn off your mind. But doing so has never made anyone truly happy. We should always be aware of our choices and the impact they have on our lives, no matter how innocuous the decision may seem.
We should engage our minds fully in every decision we make.
So, here are my engaged thoughts for the next time the inclination to avoid shows up:
I value my desire to write more than I value my fear of what you will think of this post.
I value my desire to speak my own mind more than I value my fear of you telling me I have no right to speak.
What about you? What do you value over fear, anxiety and avoidance?