What Reward are You Getting from Procrastination?

Last week I asked you what is procrastination costing you. Now I ask what seems to be the complete opposite, what is your payoff?

Everything we do, we do for a reason. Whether you believe me or not, you get something out of the good and the bad things you do in your life. Some of us like people to feel sorry for us, so we keep dating losers that treat us badly. Some of us like when people admire us and so we tend to be overachievers. And then some of us like the attention and love we perceive from people helping us out constantly.

Today, I want you to sit for 15 minutes in a quiet room and think: what is the payoff I get from procrastinating on my goals? This is not the time to feel guilty or remorseful for manipulating your loved ones. You are not judging the feelings, just let them come and take notes. This behavior comes from your past and you might have to dig deep to figure out when this pattern emerged. Maybe as a child you had a condition that made it harder for you to make those first steps and you felt the love of your family as they helped you. Maybe your first day of school was traumatic until you noticed that everyone was trying to make you feel better. Whatever it is, take a note of it and see the patterns emerge.

This process has two parts: recognizing what is the reward and then figuring out how to deal with it. Tomorrow, I will give you some pointers on how to move on and make small changes that might help you deal with changing your behavior. For now, make an effort and figure out what the behavior is, several instances where you did it and what is the payoff. We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. If you recognize a behavior that is not supportive of your dreams, it is time to change it. Knowing what it is makes you a winner, half the battle is figuring it out. To help you on your way, I will give you an example of my own life which I hope will help you identify some of yours.

I don’t know about you, as a woman over 40, I’ve been able to identify lots of things I don’t want to keep doing. One of them was depending on others to achieve my goals. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. It is the kind of help you ask and why you ask that might be troublesome. In my case, I have always believed that I am not good enough or smart enough to accomplish things. I used to ask my friends (who are usually managers in higher positions) to help me out. I can identify this all the way to my childhood. I am the baby of the family. In the beginning my siblings blamed me for everything because I was a baby and I would not get punished (and neither would they). For some reason, they kept blaming me for everything, to the point where the favorite saying in my house was “If it’s broken it was probably Roxie. That child is just all thumbs”. I guess I must have created an image on my head that I was incapable of doing anything right and kept on doing it for most of my adult life. When I turned 40, I decided to take responsibility for my own outcomes. Some things have worked out great, some have not. Others are still to be determined. I am a much happier person because I can own up to whatever the outcome is as a success or a learning experience. I am smart enough and good enough. Do you have a similar story?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: