WHY WE PROCRASTINATE WHEN WE HAVE AN APPROACHING WRITING DEADLINE
Have you ever had a deadline you needed to meet, but found
yourself doing anything and everything, except for what you are supposed to be
doing? You know you should be writing that final chapter of your book that is
due in a few days, but instead you are making yourself busy by cleaning out
Yep! Procrastination. We are all guilty of it at some
point(s) in our lives.
But, why do we procrastinate? Is it because we are lazy? Is it due to poor
time management skills?
According to this great article from The
New York Times, neither of those things are to blame. Believe it or not,
procrastination actually stems from the negative feelings that we have in
regards to certain tasks. We know that we are avoiding writing that final
chapter, and are fully aware of the consequences of not making our deadlines.
Yet, we do it anyway.
Yes, in essence, by procrastinating we are self-sabotaging.
So, why do we keep doing it?
It turns out that procrastination is generally the result of our inability to properly manage our negative feelings. If you are feeling stressed about finishing your book, and nervous about the next steps in the publishing process, your brain can easily convince itself that putting your book aside and rearranging the furniture instead is a good idea.
Our procrastination does not serve us well, though, because
it only causes more stress and anxiety when we have to return to the task at
hand. And those added negative feelings only make us want to procrastinate even
While it all sounds like a vicious, never-ending cycle,
there is a way out. According to the NYT article, the answer lies in
re-programing our brains to identify the negative feelings that we are having
in response to a certain task. Once we acknowledge those negative feelings, we
must practice self-compassion to get to the bottom of why we are feeling that
way. Only then can we forgive our negative feelings and focus on the positive
outcomes to come, once we finish our tasks.