Procrastination

When job interviewers ask me "What is your greatest weakness?", I know better than to tell them "I have a tendency to procrastinate."  That said, I am writing my June blog post on the evening of June 30th.  In my younger years I LOVED procrastinating.  My motto was; "The nice thing about waiting until the last minute to complete something, is that it only takes a minute." Aside from this late posting, I have to give myself credit for the tremendous progress I have made in reducing (and someday eliminating) procrastination in my life.  I spent years trying to fight the procrastination with will power and determination. That didn't work.  A few years ago I tried approaching my procrastination with compassion and curiousity.  Instead of yanking hard against those moments when I felt like I was pulling a tractor, I began to learn to turn around, face the tractor, and explore it with curiosity and breath; "What does the tractor want me to know about 'right-now'?"  Sometimes this only led to further frustration and unanswered questions.  Other times I found something out about myself in that moment. The gradual accumulation of "ah-ha!'s" and "oh-i-didn't-notice-that-before's" gave me clues to what kept me from completing an objective before the last minute.  From those clues, I have spent that last several years developing strategies that work for me, based on what I know about myself.  After looking at my version of "procrastination" under a microscope, I discovered a wide variety of unmet wants and needs, capabilities, feelings, passions, signals, limits, challenges, and strengths that somehow all landed in the same file that I headed 'procrastination'.  I was able to take out a lot of these files and reorganize them into more identifiable and workable categories.  The more I've reorganized these senses outside of the heading 'procrastination,' I was able to find greater use for them.  I learned that some things I do better at midnight, some things I do better midday.  I learned sometimes my lethargic energy or limiting anxiety is indicating to me that I'm spending too much time on things that I'm not passionate about.  I also discovered a hidden belief that "the to-do list will never really get completely done, so why try?"  I was able to develop new beliefs that invited new possibilities. I began experiencing happiness and relaxation unbridled by 'that one thing that can wait till tomorrow.' I learned to set more attainable goals and appreciate myself for accomplishing them.  I am not proposing that any of these solutions will work for you.  But I invite you to explore; how often do you take on words handed to us from pop-psychology like "procrastination" or "self-sabotage" and bang yourself over the head with them?  What happens when you look for your own ways to describe yourself? What judgements get in the way of your ability to look at yourself and your behavior with fresh, unfiltered eyes?  I hope to hear your answers!