You misunderstand procrastination, and that’s why you can’t stop

Nobody loves procrastination. It feels neither productive nor restful. So, we’d all love to stop, right? But why do so many of us find it so difficult?

The answer is that we misunderstand what procrastination is! And, well, you can’t fix a problem you don’t understand.

You see, most people believe that procrastination is doing nothing. And that’s simply not true! Procrastination always involves doing something. It’s just not anything you’re supposed to be doing.

Doing something rather than nothing feels okay, maybe even great! After all, “Somebody has to put these dishes away!” Well, sure, but what about that presentation you’re delivering tomorrow?

See what’s happening there? The dishes gave you permission to avoid working on your presentation — you can blame the dishes, yay! “Darn dishes, I don’t understand how anybody can do anything else around here with all these dishes that need to be lovingly put away.”

If you want to stop procrastinating, you must change how you think about doing nothing. Doing nothing is not the problem, it’s the solution.

Next time you catch yourself picking up other things to do while avoiding working on your task — stop. You’re allowed to either work on your task or sit there and be bored.

If you permit yourself only these two choices (and who would object to doing nothing?), you’ll quickly discover that working on your presentation feels far more entertaining than staring into the distance.

And if you already know this trick, but find it difficult to implement, check out my article on how to half-ass your way to success.