I like getting things done. I love the feeling of accomplishment and crossing things off my to-do list. As a child, no one needed to remind me to practice or do my homework. Granted, I was an OVER-achiever with some issues, but even now, as an adult who's addressed those overwork mindsets and habits in order to overcome overwhelm and burnout, I just like to work.
So when I feel a pull to procrastinate, I know there's something that needs my attention. Allowing myself to procrastinate the thing I think I should be doing is often the answer to being more productive. The way I feel when I want to put things off is the flag that tells me something else is more important. I know that my personality type and character don't value laziness, so when I want to be lazy, it's time to dig deeper.
Here are the questions to ask when you feel like procrastinating:
Do you physically need anything?
Being hungry, tired, or immobile are things that will cause your body to complain. You may need to eat more (or healthier), sleep more, or move more in order to focus on your to-do list.
Are you socializing enough?
Humans are social creatures. If you're social calendar has been empty, your motivation may be lower because of it. Time to put yourself out there.
Have you been working too much?
Your brain needs a certain amount of time to process information or it gets overwhelmed. Create more time for hobbies or just doing nothing to give your brain the rest it needs. Learn how to say no.
Are you disconnected from your purpose?
Forgetting why something is important to do may be at the root of procrastination. Connect your to-do list to your purpose and your long-term goals to motivate and inspire yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others who have their own individual purpose and goals.
Discipline has its limits in a post-pandemic world. Things that used to be easier may now seem more challenging because the world has changed, and you have changed along with it. Be kind to yourself as you figure out how this new reality works.
Dr. Nancy Williams is a music educator and leadership life coach who specializes in helping creatives lead with joy and empowerment.