Procrastination is Intelligent

A Question: Do you catch yourself procrastinating from time to time? How do you usually react?

A few days ago my friend Frank called me about a situation where he found himself unable to act. He had the clear impulse to improve the results of his business by leveraging Facebook- and Social-Ads, but couldn’t bring himself to get started.

His proposed solution?
To find a person that would hold him accountable.
Someone who would basically force him to act. 

Almost everyone I know has a similar reaction to procrastination.
In it’s essence it usually looks something like this:
“I procrastinate because I am not strong enough. I lack the necessary discipline. Is there some tool/person/secret to help me get out of it?”

Sounds familiar?
It does to me. I’ve certainly been there.

In such moments I would turn towards books, videos, podcasts or motivational quotes. To the self-improvement and the hustle-culture. I would create todo-lists and make all sorts of clever plans. I would find people that “hold me accountable” (translation: “kick my ass”). And in many cases I would simply turn towards tons of coffee and sheer force of will.

I would turn to anything that promises to break the spell of procrastination. 
So that I can finally get things done and move forward in life.

But has it ever occurred to you, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you when you procrastinate?

During my conversation with Frank it suddenly hit me:
Procrastination is always intelligent. Always.

Procrastination doesn’t mean you’re not strong enough. It doesn’t mean that you lack discipline. Instead it means that there is a certain intelligence in you that has awoken. An intelligence that understands that whatever you are trying to do is not right for you. That you’re attemting to do something that is not beneficial to your life and that you are heading in the wrong direction. 

When your mind is in conflict with this intelligence, procrastination happens.

Think about it.

Why would you ever procrastinate doing something that is fully and truly aligned with yourself?
You wouldn’t. You would just do it and enjoy the act of doing it.

The important takeaway is this:
When you find yourself procrastinating, there is absolutely no reason to beat yourself up. Instead it is a reason to celebrate your intelligence and to start exploring what that part of you wants to tell you.

So next time you procrastinate, your only response should be this:
You jump up, strike your most epic celebration-pose and yell: “My god, I’m so intelligent! Let’s find out what this part of me wants to tell me!”

I find this is a much more healthy approach to meet (and befriend) procrastination. 

Because the alternative is always this:
You begin to be at war with yourself. And no one has ever found lasting peace and happiness by doing that.

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