Busted, Procrastination!

Last night in sub zero weather, I hobbled with fractured foot and the help of a friend to teach my monthly “Job/Life Transition with Joy and Purpose” class. We always discuss what’s been going on for folks, and one honest soul admitted that he didn’t do last month’s assignment (pasting cut out pictures onto a vision board) because he always procrastinates. “I had all the parts, all I had to do was tape.” So many of us are like that, we do 90% of the work, then quit or stop. Somehow we tricked him into doing the deed then and there in class in about five minutes. The ‘stuck’ that accompanies procrastination and our stories around this friendly foe, when unravelled, loosen us from judgment and further procrastination. Here are a few of the revelations we discussed that may help you bust your procrastinatory ways:
1. Don’t judge it, you may be procrastinating for good reason and getting lots of other stuff done while waiting it out.
2. Contemplate what’s scary about finishing the object of your procrastination, as in fear of success or failure, letting go of an enjoyable process, or expected criticism. Recognize that fear as ego-based and let it lie (it does lie, anyway). Don’t try to quell, ignore, or understand it. Just move forward. How do you do that??
3. Baby steps, big steps, any steps at all. Open a new file, make that call, write a poem. Distract yourself away from the Big Procrastination. Come back in a while. Catch yourself from awfulizing, general comments like “I always procrastinate.”
4. In summary, beat procrastination at its own game without judgment, enjoyably, one step at a time and without falling asleep. Procrastination hates an alert mind.

Share your latest procrastination with us, how you beat it, or not. We’ll help you.
Because after all, we’ve all been there.


About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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4 Responses to Busted, Procrastination!

  1. phyllisstern says:

    Thanks, Sheila. I think the cold is a good excuse toprocrastinate. (“wouldn’t anybody put off work activitieswhen it’s so cold?”) Isn’t staying warm an activity initself? Maybe so …  bur Sweden produces good films!  Maybe i can acknowledge that it’s cold in here, soothemyself, put on the heater. Actually, I’m going to go outto mobilize some action and energy. Aiyana Phyllis SternLightWords Editorial Services  212-799-4365 www.lightwords-editorial.com  “Words with clarity and vision”


    • sheilaklewis says:

      Hi Phyllis, absolutely, cold is a great excuse. But excuses go hand in hand with procrastination. As you say, Sweden produces great films, and what about the Russian writers? Frankly, Russian novels are too long for my taste, I wonder if the long, cold winters increased word output ’cause no one wanted to go outside. Stay warm.

  2. Margarita says:

    I’ve been too busy to procrastinate, lately, Sheila. With this post, I have the tools to stay clear of that inactivity should it come lurking again! 😉 xoxoM

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