procrastination

A revelatory conversation on procrastination

A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
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The bottom line:
Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people,
help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me.

The September Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community gathered nine souls to talk/explore/discover around the topic of procrastination. Part of what we brought up can be found in the doodle, part of it can be found within the nine souls present, part of it is likely gone with the wind, never to be touched upon again. Perhaps…

How do you define procrastination?
What’s the meaning of this word, for you?
Does it have negative connotations, or not?

Those were some questions we started off with, and then, in the way these conversations go, we ended up all over the map, which, for me, increases the chances that there will be a new perspective, a reframe, a tankespjärn somewhere to present new doors for me. Doors I get to choose whether or not I want to open, and then –next choice– to step through or not. Doors to new aspects of viewing life, of living life, of relating to myself or others.

Some of those doors read as follows:

  • procrastination, when I pick up on it consciously, holds information. For me to use or ignore, up to me. But contained within the sensation of procrastination there’s plenty of information.
  • how procrastination to most of us holds negative connotations.
  • an open-ended question/query as to whether there is a cultural aspect to procrastination: is it “a negative” in other cultures?
  • confirmation of my realization that there are more books to read than I will be able to in my lifetime (but here’s a bonus piece of tankespjärn for you: Nassim Nicholas Taleb has, since his teens, spent between 30-60 hours a week (!) reading. That’s massive!). The books that made it onto the doodle were AntifragileRest and Ever-Present Origin. But I swear there were a couple more mentioned…

Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people like these, help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me. Given, of course, that I am open to it myself. Nothing shifts in a person with a closed mind. Nothing!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Procrastination

September 14, 2020
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Procrastination, the action of delaying or postponing something.
From Latin: procrastinare, pro-, ‘forward’, with –crastinus, ’till next day’ from “cras“, ‘tomorrow’.

Starting off with a bit from Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it results from some ecological or naturalistic wisdom, and is not always bad–at an existential level, it is my body rebelling against its entrapment. It is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity. Granted, in the modern world, my tax return is not going to take care of itself–but by delaying a non-vital visit to a doctor, or deferring the writing of a passage until my body tells me that I am ready for it, I may be using a very potent naturalistic filter. I write only if I feel like it and only on a subject I feel like writing about–and the reader is no fool. So I use procrastination as a message from my inner self and my deep evolutionary past to resist interventionism in my writing. Yet some psychologists and behavioral economists seem to think that procrastination is a disease to be remedied and cured.

I read this, and went: Wait. Hey! Whaaaat?!

Thinking back, I am guilty as charged. Having only, ever, looked at procrastination with scorn, disgust, dread, flagging it to be the culprit of tight (or even more horribly, missed) deadlines, of unchecked ToDo’s, endless lists written and never attended to… and add to that my worst sin: tardiness. Which, I must admit, I am only now realizing has a large factor of procrastination in it. ”I’m just gonna…” is one of the most common phrases out of my mouth (ask my children, they will verify it!), habitually postponing the next step in favor of what I am doing right now.

In the mornings, I want to write, read, do my Wim Hof-breathing rounds (three sets) and my morning Seven before I feel properly ready to meet the world. If I don’t exercise some proper discipline not only do I not write, not read, I spend the time scrolling my SoMe-feed, getting ready to do my Wim Hof around the time when I should be getting dressed to have breakfast, in order to meet whatever appointment/deadline I am ignoring… This has me doing my breathing, Seven and getting dressed, often skipping breakfast, and biking like a madwoman across town, arriving –winded and sweating– a few minutes after the fact…

I am n o t proud of this.
But. I. Just. Cannot. Seem. To. Shake. The. Habit.
Procrastinating like hell.
I am just gonna… do this, that and the other thing, before I get down to business and get myself to whatever-is-scheduled.

So when I read ”…seem to think that procrastination is a disease to be remedied and cured” I went: Wait. Hey! Whaaaat?! You mean it may n o t be? 

What’s the message for me in this?
What is it I am n o t doing, that would make me stop procrastinating?
Or, rather, what would have me use the procrastination as a message, a signal? Information to me, about the way I schedule my days, my weeks? The way I am keeping myself from doing some things I truly want to do (or do I? Is that the message?), avoiding… what?

There are so many layers to this, layers I am eager to lift up, explore and study, scrutinize and learn from. What serves me? What doesn’t serve me? When does/doesn’t it? How can I find ways of being in the world, that doesn’t have me waste the time of others (having to wait for me before getting on with it) while at the same time grant myself a life of less meddling?

So. Many. Questions.
Impossible (or not?) to answer?

What is procrastination to you?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Join me and other patrons of the tankespjärn-community on a Zoom-call on September 23rd 2020 at 7 pm CEST, in conversation on the topic of procrastination.
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Lovingkindness, a way to let go of hesitation and fear

February 29, 2020
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Three days a week, there’s a prompt in The Creative’s Workshop. Something to ponder, to reflect and act upon, to respond to. Prompt number 8 called for action, and as much as it scared me, at first, once done, I’d shed a ton of anxiety and hesitation. 

This sentence hit’s the bullseye. Spot on. Hurtfully so:
It’s not that you can’t organize and ship a minimum lovable product. It’s simply that you’re hesitating.

You see, I want to do more with #tankespjärn than I have been doing so far, and yes I am afraid. I am hesitant. I fear failure.

Deep inhalation!
Letting it out.

Lovingkindness.
Breathe in love. Breathe out fear.
Breathe in strength. Breathe out hesitation.
Breathe in determination. Breathe out fear of failure.
Breathe in courage. Breathe out poor excuses.
Breathe in words from the Angel’s advocate. Breathe out words from the Devil’s advocate.
Breathe in just do it. Breathe out procrastination.

That’s what I wrote. To get myself ready to do the work the prompt actually called for, which was to make a list of steps that will take me (closer) to what it is I want to create, and then list what I need to do to make each step a reality. 

After spending 15-20 minutes on it, there I was, with a list of five steps with a number of actionable to-dos for each one. And all of a sudden, anxiety and hesitation are replaced with a sensation informing me that This is doable!

 

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