Embrace Your Procrastination and Find Your Freedom

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

My good friend and colleague, Roberta Matuson, posted a blog on LinkedIn about Conquering Procrastination and Unlocking Your Potential. Roberta is a best-selling author, consultant, and really smart person.

However, I think it is time to stop fighting procrastination and consider embracing it.

Over the years, I’ve helped many clients who want to overcome procrastination. I’ve focus  on how they can hold themselves accountable. I suggest to-do lists, accountability partners, Pomodoro Time Management or even not take a coffee break until they get their work done (this is for masochists and adherents to stoicism.) 

In my life, I’ve been a great procrastinator, at times. As I’ve studied and experienced procrastination, I’ve asked myself, “why am I procrastinating and what does it mean?”  The answer is always the same.

I don’t want to do this!

That observation on my part related to algebra in junior high school, Organic Chemistry in college, attending networking programs early in my career, doing multiple revisions of books I’ve written, and dealing with people not interested in learning or improving themselves.

I recognize that things I don’t like and don’t do well are probably best avoided unless I can learn how to enjoy them and become more skilled at accomplishing them. While that was not the case with algebra or organic chemistry, it has become the case with networking and working with intractable people (I love the challenge!) Rewrites are just one of those activities that I must hunker down and get done. That can be a procrastination battle, and I’ll check Roberta’s blog later for some ideas.

The point here is that procrastination serves a vital role in helping us to pause and consider if what we “need to do” is something we are well suited to accomplishing

In my consulting and advising work, I see today, more than ever, that  everyone wants more out of life. No one goes to their grave with the epitaph, “wished I spent more time at the office.” We talk about finding our passion, enjoying the journey, and using our superpowers for super good. Easy to say but hard to do.

One way is to see what sparks our passion. I love going to one of those networking meeting and asking folks, “what is exciting you today?” Sometimes eyes light up and sometimes I just get a shrug. I’m drawn to the bright eyes and the conversations are fun and powerful. The other approach to finding our passion is to discover what we don’t like and don’t do well. Both go hand in hand and the latter, which fuels procrastination, is the early warning system that we are off our path.

The Resilience Advantage is all about how we use our energy effectively. Feeling stuck and avoiding some kind of task is a sign that we may be off the tracks. Listening and paying attention to those messages help clarify what our life is truly about. 

Now, I’ve got to work on some videos for my Absolute Citrin blogs. I haven’t had much energy to get them done but after hearing from some folks that they miss seeing them, I’m feeling juiced about them.  I love that kind of feedback.

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1 thought on “Embrace Your Procrastination and Find Your Freedom”

  1. Chidinma Oparah

    I am a procrastinator. I feel terrible for not being able to overcome it most of the time. I won’t mind having most of your write ups on how best to overcome it.

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